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In the Beginning: the First Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 1962: Press coverage and more

Fort Worth Press scrapbook, October 1962

The Fort Worth Press, long since out of business, produced A Scrapbook of ... the Van Cliburn International Quadrennial Piano Competition for readers to keep and enjoy. Like other items on this page it can be viewed in the TCU/Special Collections digital repository; scroll down to "View/Open." The document is text-searchable except for the "Candid Extras" photographic section in the center.

Application brochure for the first competition

Variously referred to as "brochure," "booklet," "catalogue" or even "prospectus," the application brochure for the first competition was a strong advertisement for Fort Worth as a cultural entity.  Its envelope showed a globe logo that was soon replaced by the stylized piano logo used for many years.  View the complete application brochure and mailing envelopes in the TCU/Special Collections digital repository.

A two-page flyer, "Here's What They're Saying About Fort Worth," ca.1961, described the application brochure minutely and implied its importance in gathering support.

Piano Guild Notes, September-October 1962

The September-October 1962 edition of PGN devoted eight pages to the first Cliburn Competition, offering its own coverage plus columns from other sources.

Program for the first Van Cliburn competition

The program for the first Van Cliburn Competition included an insert with further information about the contestants.  View the program and insert (text-searchable) in the TCU/Special Collections digital repository. The program is also available online courtesy of The Cliburn.

Commissioned piano composition

From the first competition onward the Van Cliburn Foundation commissioned piano works for the contestants to play during each of the contests.  In 1962 the piece was Lee Hoiby's Capriccio on Five Notes.

Interruptions, interruptions...

The rules for the first few Cliburn Competitions allowed jurists to halt and redirect preliminary contenders. Presumably in the interests of time, the jury often interrupted pianists to request a different work.  Later competitions made a point of featuring only complete renditions of musical compositions.