WMU News

Van Cliburn Competition chooses Curtis-Smith work

March 9, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition has selected "Twelve Etudes for Piano" by Western Michigan University professor of music C. Curtis-Smith as one of the works to be performed by competitors this year.

Over a year ago, the Van Cliburn invited some 40 composers, who had been named by a nominating committee, to submit works for consideration to be performed in the semifinal round at the 11th Van Cliburn Competition. This group of 40 works was eventually narrowed down to five by an adjudicating panel.

Curtis-Smith's "Twelve Etudes" is among the five selected works that survived the elimination process.

Each piano competitor, in turn, must choose to play one work from the list of five as part of the semifinal round. The five works are being sent out anonymously to the 30 pianists invited to Fort Worth, Texas, May 25-June 10 for the 11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Each composer whose work is selected by one of the 12 semifinalists will receive a cash award. The work receiving the greatest number of performances during the semifinal round will be awarded an additional grand prize.

Last fall, Curtis-Smith's colleague in the WMU Department of Music, Lori Sims, premiered seven of the etudes at New York's Lincoln Center in Alice Tully Hall. The composition of the "Twelve Etudes" was supported by funds from the Faculty Research and Creative Activities Support Fund of Western Michigan University.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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