“A record-breaking 388 pianists applied for the 16th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. This June, 30 of the best pianists from around the world will come to Fort Worth to compete for gold,” writes Dalia Faheid in Friday’s (5/27) Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX). “They hail from 14 countries and range in age from 18 to 31 years old. ‘We’re looking for unique voices, and you can have different people to have their unique perspective,’ said Jacques Marquis, CEO of the Cliburn…. The screening jury selected 72 to be invited to Fort Worth for live auditions from March 6 to 12. That five-member jury then chose the 30 competitors. ‘After the audition, we just met and had some fun time together,’ said Ukrainian finalist Dmytro Choni. ‘The atmosphere has been very friendly, and I hope it will be the same during the competition in June.’ [As] 2017 winner Daniel Hsu describes it … ‘I would also say that everybody’s there to be at their best and to deliver.’ ” Included are brief bios of the 30 pianists competing in the June 2-18 event; they come from Australia, Belarus, China, Italy, Latvia, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the U.S.