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Van Cliburn International Piano Competitions: a Guide: The Cliburn Competitions

The Van Cliburn Competitions

In 1991 the Cliburn Foundation placed print and audiovisual materials in the TCU Library.  For information about the collection, please go to the Cliburn Archive web page.  This guide is designed to highlight aspects of the Cliburn competitions, archive holdings, upcoming or past events, and links to some resources available on the internet.  A web exhibit is also available: "In the Beginning: the First Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 1962." Also of interest: the NBC-5 / WBAP Archives via the Portal to Texas History.
Professional competitions

The Cliburn: 50 Years of Gold (video)

History of the Cliburn Piano Competition

Competition statistics to 2005 ; 2009 ; 2013

Competition programs ; Cliburn News

Cliburn Foundation websites thru time


Amateur competitions

Junior competitions


Videos online2017 ; 2013 prelimssemis ;  Cliburn-Vimeo

Purchase recordings

Audio streaming and CD albums (Amazon)

Instant Encore: listen / purchase

eClassical (downloads)
The Cliburn Shop (CDs, DVDs)

  Composer competitions:           Above:  image from an article featuring the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Rock Island Argus, circa May 30, 1981 (full image)

2001, 2005, 2009

Sound Recordings via Naxos

TCU Community

Subscription information

Defining images: art and logos

1989 - the first Cliburn commissioned art work was created for the 8th Van Cliburn Piano Competition by Robert Rauschenberg, whose unnamed work appeared on the competition's poster

1993 - Ivan Chermayeff's art for the 9th Cliburn Competition poster included variations on the poster's multi-color keyboard-based theme. The variations were used for decorative Cliburn Boutique glassware and glossy publications for press use.

1997 - Sean Scully's art for the 10th Cliburn Competition included this primary image plus variations, resembling national flags.

2001 - Tom Phillips' Music World I was used for 11th Competition posters and various publications. A lighter/brighter version, Music World II, was also used for publications, looking perhaps more like the sun than a planet.

2005 - Sir Howard Hodgkin's Concert, created for the 12th competition, abstractly depicted a concert stage. The competition program book cover allows a closer look at the work, and explanatory text on the inside, p.74.

2009 - Ivan Chermayeff's Treble Clefs, designed for the 13th Competition, depicted musical notation in a spectrum of colors.  

2013 - Untitled, by Ed Ruscha, was a stunning photographic rendering of a piano keyboard. The unveiling event, highlighting other Ruscha works, can still be watched on YouTube.

2017 - A new piano logo - the first since 1962 - appeared by fall 2012, later dominating the cover of the 2017 Cliburn Competition program. Prior to this, for the 2013 competition, a tiny reproduction of the logo appeared in an upper corner of the program book.

2019 - a new logo tagged "The World is Listening" appeared in Cliburn web pages and publications from 2019 onward.

2022 - Chromesthesia, by the artist known as DAAS, was the first mural commissioned for a Cliburn piano competition, representing the 16th piano event, delayed one year to 2022, the 60th anniversary of the Cliburn. The unveiling of the mural was accompanied by gala events.

Defining images: art and logos


TOP: piano images by Paul Lazzaro and Associates for a 1993 cover of Cliburn News.

ABOVE LEFT: original logo of the Van Cliburn Competition as presented on the cover of the 1962 application brochure (click image to enlarge).

ABOVE RIGHT: early 1962 logo used for the application mailing envelope, with red background added (click to see original envelope).


Laura J. Ruede, MLS
Van Cliburn Archivist
Mary Couts Burnett Library
Texas Christian University
Telephone:  817-257-7774