Pianist, former Chinese prisoner, in Fort Worth as Cliburn juror

Posted on: June 6, 2013

In Wednesday’s (6/5) Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Andrea Ahles writes, “Van Cliburn and Liu Shih Kun were on top of the international piano world in 1958 when they came in first and second, respectively, at the inaugural Tchaikovsky competition.… [After the competition] Kun finished his studies at the Moscow conservatory and returned to Beijing, where he was forced to carry heavy stones at a work camp and then spent five years in a Chinese prison…. Kun has started hundreds of music schools in over 30 cities in China…. This week, Kun, 74, is in Fort Worth, a jury member of the Cliburn piano competition …. ‘I was very excited [to be a juror]. This competition is very special because of Van and it has special meaning to me,’ Kun said…. In 1979, Kun was allowed to travel to the United States and performed with the Boston Symphony, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. Since then, Kun has played hundreds of concerts in China and at other international venues.” In China now, Kun says in the article, “The middle class are able to afford all these expenses for the piano and for music. There is a boom to learn how to play the piano.”

Posted June 6, 2013

Photo of Van Cliburn and Liu Shih Kun taken in Fort Worth in 2012, courtesy Liu Shih Kun