KQED Pressroom
pressroom home WXXI channels Events & Outreach listings & schedule corporate corporate rules & regulations

WXXI Overview

WXXI logos
Downloadable versions

WXXI Press List
sign up to receive the latest WXXI news & information
Media Usage Policy
photo & document rights, uses, permissions
Kristin Tutino
Creative Services Department


Press Releases

Wednesday, September 1 at 9:30 p.m. A Surpise in Texas: The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

(Rochester, NY) WXXI presents A Surprise in Texas: The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, featuring the finalists vying for the 2009 competition’s coveted gold medal. Airing Wednesday, September 1 at 9:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), the piano competition has been called “the most prestigious classical piano contest in the world” by the Chicago Tribune and“the musical Olympics of the western world” by the Milwaukee Journal.

Twenty-nine of the world’s best young pianists hailing from 14 countries converged in Fort Worth, Texas, in May 2009 for a once-in-a-lifetime chance at gold in the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Emmy Award®-winning director Peter Rosen followed these distinctive personalities during a rigorous three-week competition — through intense rehearsals, introspective moments, preconcert rituals and endearing celebrations. With performances of Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and other composers setting the impassioned tone, the result is an intricate view into the inner workings of the world’s most prestigious piano competition, and a heartwarming story that proves to be a momentous surprise in Texas.

The documentary features Haochen Zhang of China, 19 — the youngest competitor — as well as blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, 20, of Japan and Yeol Eum Son, 23, of South Korea.

The six finalists from the competition now have an unparalleled opportunity to perform throughout the United States, including more than 300 engagements coordinated by the Van Cliburn Foundation. In addition, the gold medalists will perform international engagements arranged by IMG Artists Europe. Collectively, the Cliburn winners will earn more than $1,000,000 during that time.

Pictured: Gold and Silver Medalists
Credit: Van Cliburn Foundation/Altre MEDIA


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.