The Chamber of Commerce anticipated the first Cliburn Competition with a Fort Worth magazine cover and article, December 1961. Though brief, the article shows the city's great expectations for the new competition: "Fort Worth ... Music Capital: the Van Cliburn International Competition will become a permanent landmark in world culture." To attract the finest pianists, the article said, the U.S. Information Agency sent word about the competition "to every country on the globe."
Just prior to the event, Saturday Review speculated about the new competition in the context of a recurring debate: are music competitions helpful, or are they antithetical to artistic achievement?
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram heralded SR's notice in an article dated August 26, 1962.