Home Icon

Loading, Please Wait...


1185 Days ago

The American luminary will serve as jury chairman and Final Round conductor for the Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, May 28–June 12, 2021, at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas USA.

Fort Worth, Texas USA, March 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Cliburn announces today that Marin Alsop will be the jury chairman for the Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, taking place May 28–June 12, 2021, at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas USA.

Widely considered one of the preeminent international music contests, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition exists to share excellent classical music with the largest international audience possible and to launch the careers of its winners every four years. Building on a rich tradition that began with its 1962 origins in honor of Van Cliburn and his vision for using music to serve audiences and break down boundaries, the Cliburn seeks, with each edition, to achieve the highest artistic standards while utilizing contemporary tools to advance its reach. The world’s top 18- to 30-year-old pianists compete for gold in front of a live audience in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as a global online viewership of over 5 million. Beyond cash prizes, winning a Cliburn medal means comprehensive career management, concert tours, artistic support, and bolstered publicity efforts for the three years following.

One of the world’s most distinguished and innovative conductors, Marin Alsop holds major appointments on three continents: music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007; principal conductor and music director of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra since 2012; and chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra beginning September 2019. Among her many awards and academic positions, she is the only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Philharmonic Society, is a 2019 recipient of the World Economic Forum Crystal Award, and was recently appointed Director of Graduate Conducting at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute.

In addition to her role as jury chairman, she will conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra with the six finalists during the Competition’s Final Round. As chairman, she will oversee the jury selection process, consult on jury rules and procedures, and set the tone and mandate of the jury; but she will abstain from voting throughout the Competition, except in the case of a tie after the Final Round.

Marin Alsop’s ceiling-shattering career launched in 1989, when she was the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center, where she began studying with her mentor, Leonard Bernstein. Over the following three decades, she became the first woman to serve as music director for a major American orchestra, to hold the chief conducting role at each of her three orchestras, and to conduct the Last Night of the Proms. She will be the first woman to serve as jury chairman or to conduct during the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

“We could not be more pleased with this new partnership with Marin Alsop,” said Cliburn President and CEO Jacques Marquis. “Not only is she a powerful voice in classical music internationally and a fantastic conductor, she is also well known for her commitment to reaching new audiences and her encouragement of young artists. Each of these attributes perfectly complements the Cliburn’s mission and the goals of the Cliburn Competition. We look forward to working closely with her to spread classical music around the globe and to launch the careers of our new winners.”

"I’m really looking forward to working with the talented young pianists at the Cliburn Competition,” Alsop said. “Collaborating with this world-class organization that is devoted to nurturing future generations aligns with my commitment to education and passion for mentoring young musicians.”


Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a music director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that “music has the power to change lives.” She is recognized across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages.

Her outstanding success as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) since 2007 has been recognized by two extensions in her tenure, now confirmed until 2021. As part of her artistic leadership, Alsop has led the orchestra on their first European tour to the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival and created several bold initiatives: ‘OrchKids,’ for the city’s most deprived young people, and the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians for adult amateur musicians. Alsop became principal conductor and music director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) in 2012, where she continues to steer highly creative programming and outreach activities, and which she conducts on the international stage: this includes a tour to Asia in 2019 with two concerts at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and three European tours featuring critically acclaimed performances at major summer festivals including the Lucerne Festival and in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Salzburg, and Vienna; her contract continues to the end of 2019, when she becomes Conductor of Honour. In September 2019, Alsop becomes chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Marin Alsop conducts the world’s major orchestras, with recent and forthcoming European highlights including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre de Paris, and long-standing relationships with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). In the United States, Alsop regularly conducts the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Chicago Symphony orchestras, including at their summer residencies at Saratoga, Blossom, and Ravinia. Further highlights of the 2018–2019 season include the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, and the Orchestre National de France, following summer festival debuts at the Grafenegg and MITO festivals with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a second residency with the Britten-Pears Orchestra at the Snape Proms. 

At London's Southbank Centre where she is artist-in-residence, this season she conducted Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, following performances with the orchestra at the BBC Proms. In September 2013, Marin Alsop made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, which she returned to conduct in 2015.

Her extensive discography has led to multiple Gramophone awards and includes highly praised Naxos cycles of Brahms with the LPO and MDR Leipzig, Dvořák with the BSO, Prokofiev with OSESP, and further recordings for Decca Classics, Harmonia Mundi, and Sony Classical. She is dedicated to new music, demonstrated in her 25-year tenure as Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

In 2019, Alsop was awarded the prestigious Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum and is the only conductor to receive the distinguished MacArthur Fellowship. Amongst many awards and academic positions, she is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Philharmonic Society, and was recently appointed director of graduate conducting at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute. She attended The Juilliard School and Yale University, who awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in 2017. Her conducting career was launched in 1989, when she was the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center and began studying with her most important mentor, Leonard Bernstein.


The Cliburn advances classical piano music throughout the world. Its international competitions, education programs, and concert series embody an enduring commitment to artistic excellence and the discovery of new artists. Established in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1962, the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (sixteenth edition, May 27–June 12, 2021) remains the most visible expression of that mission and is, as always, committed to its original ideals of supporting and launching the careers of emerging artists, ages 18–30. It shares the transformative powers of music with a wide global audience, through fully-produced webcasts and by providing comprehensive career management and concert bookings to its winners. Rounding out its mission, the Cliburn also produces the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival for exceptional 13- to 17-year-old pianists (second edition, May 31–June 8, 2019), and the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition for outstanding non-professional pianists age 35 and older (eighth edition, May 24–30, 2020).

Over a four-year cycle, the Cliburn contributes to North Texas’ cultural landscape with over 170 classical music performances for 150,000 attendees, through competitions, free community concerts, and its signature Cliburn Concerts series at Bass Performance Hall, the Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and Scat Jazz Lounge. It presents 1,000 in-school, interactive music education programs for more than 200,000 area elementary students. During the same time period, it garners the world’s attention with over five million visits from 170 nations for live concert and competition webcasts; 300 concerts worldwide booked for competition winners; more than 5,000 news articles about the Cliburn and its winners; and regular national radio broadcasts to 245 public radio stations. Detailed information about the Cliburn and its programs is available at cliburn.org.

Arts Council of Fort Worth
Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation
Sid W. Richardson Foundation
The Pangburn Foundation 
The Walton Family Foundation, Inc.

Exclusive Print Media Sponsor 

Official Piano of the Cliburn
Steinway & Sons – North Texas / Houston



Maggie Estes
The Cliburn

We Are Diffrent
Is your business listed correctly on America’s largest city directory network of 1,000 portals? Find your City Portal