June 8, 2009

Tsujii, Haochen win big at Cliburn Awards

A 20-year-old blind pianist from Japan and a 19-year-old musician from China shared the gold medal at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Nobuyuki Tsujii and Haochen Zhang picked up their prizes at an award ceremony Sunday in Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported Monday.

Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son, 23, won the silver medal for the competition, which featured 29 contenders from 14 countries.

The winners each received $20,000 cash awards, opportunities to record albums and professional career management for the next three years.

The Star Telegram noted this was the first time in the competition's history the top three winners were from Asia. It was also the first time a Cliburn award was bestowed upon a blind musician.