Darlene Cusick was surprised when I called to congratulate her on her acceptance as one of the entrants in the Van Cliburn Sixth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. She said she didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Well, it is indeed a big deal.
Only seventy-seven pianists from all over the world have been chosen to take part in the May competition, a group representing 11 different countries and a variety of professions, including attorneys, physicians, business executives, and architects, as well as by a retired dancer, a jeweler, a screenwriter, a kindergarten teacher, and a Formula One racecar designer, among others.
In addition to the United States, competitors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom will be performing during the week of May 23 through 29 in Ft. Worth, Texas, home of the Van Cliburn Foundation.
Cusick is a well-known Portland pianist and teacher with a reputation for a wide-ranging repertoire. Look for more details here as we follow her progress during the week.
The competition is open to pianists age 35 and older who do not derive their principal source of income through piano performance or instruction. Over the course of the week, these talented musicians will compete in three elimination rounds, have opportunities to explore chamber music works with professional musicians, and participate in symposia and other social events.
In addition to Cusick, Oregon residents Judy Darst, retired piano teacher from Bend, and Dr. John A. DeRuntz, mathematician, scientist, and retired professor from Tigard were chosen for the competition.