FORT WORTH, Texas, March 28, 2023–The Cliburn announces today the 24 competitors and 14 additional festival participants invited to the third edition of the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, for 13- to 17-year-olds. The global cultural event will take place June 8–17, 2023, in Dallas, Texas, with the first three rounds at Caruth Auditorium at SMU and the Final Round performance with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Valentina Peleggi at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

The 38 artists of the 2023 Cliburn Junior hail from all over the world, representing 13 countries: the United States (13), China (12), South Korea (4), Japan (2), Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Czechia, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, and Ukraine (includes two dual representations). They range in age from 13 to 17 with four 13-, ten 14-, seven 15-, fourteen 16-, and three 17-year-olds. 

An impressive applicant pool of 248 young pianists from 44 countries submitted online applications that included 15- to 20-minute performance videos. The 24 competitors were selected through a two-step review process by screening jurors Greg Anderson, Lydia Artymiw, Kenny Broberg, Sean Chen, Alvin Chow, Lucille Chung, Alessandro Deljavan, Yakov Kasman, and Dominique Morel. From the same applicant pool, the Cliburn artistic staff chose the additional 14 participants based on their artistic promise, their expected benefit from taking part in the festival, and the contribution they would make to the diverse, collective group of extraordinary artists.

This year’s competitors display impressive determination in their craft, from one who, at 16, has already finished first place in 30 international piano competitions, to another who is so committed to his studies that he took 10-hour train rides to attend his piano lessons, and one who, when he was 12, recorded the piano performance of the main character in the popular anime series, Forest of Piano. They also exhibit great talent outside of piano performance: one has been commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to write a piano trio, another is a National MathCounts finalist, and yet another has been seriously studying and practicing Chinese calligraphy since he was 4. The Cliburn looks forward to welcoming these impressive young artists to Texas this June.


Eddison Chen, 13, United States
Chenxi Chu 褚晨熙, 14, China
Steven Ruochong Cui 崔若冲, 17, United States
Alyssa Gabrilovich, 17, United States
Xuanyan Jessie Gong 龚暄妍, 16, China
Andrew Gu, 16, United States
Seokyoung Hong 홍석영, 15, South Korea
Mi Hou 侯米, 15, China
Artur Iskorostenskii Артур Искоростенский, 16, Russia
Zihan Jin 金子涵, 14, China
Saehyun Kim 김세현, 16, South Korea
Lukas Lee 李璐王子, 15, China
Seoeun Lee 이서은, 14, South Korea
Jaeuk Lim 임재욱, 16, South Korea
Tiankun Ma 马天坤, 16, China
Modan Oyama 大山桃暖, 17, Japan
Jan Schulmeister, 16, Czechia
Chihiro Sugarawa 菅原千尋, 16, Japan
Sizhe Wang 王思哲, 14, China
Taige Wang, 13, United States
Zhonghua Wei 魏中华, 14, China
Yifan Wu 吴一凡, 14, China
Chengcheng Yao 姚承承, 14, China
Yiran Zhou 周怡然, 15, China


Grace Feng, 16, United States
Asta Dora Finnsdottir , 16, Iceland
William Ge, 16, United States
Kayden Kelly, 16, United States/Costa Rica
Anna Kesselman, 15, United States
Hanna Kozyak Ганна Козяк, 16, Ukraine
Olivia Larco, 13, United States
Casey Li, 14, Singapore
Melanie Yutong Liu, 14, United States/China
Samuel Sabbah, 14, Norway
Akilan Sankaran, 16, United States
Can Sarac, 15, Turkey
Xinran Shi, 13, United States
Ivaylo Vassilev Ивайло Василев, 15, Bulgaria


The Junior Competition and Festival was established in 2015 as another means for the Cliburn to use its standing and expertise to encourage tomorrow’s great artists, to provide a valuable forum for them to express themselves, and to give them an entrance to the next step of their journeys. Key ingredients are top international jurors, the media and webcast, Final Round performances with orchestra, and the festival atmosphere, which include performance experience and artistic workshops—all put into place to make the program significantly useful and enriching for top young pianists.


COMPETITIONFour riveting rounds of Competition take place June 8–17, 2023

  • Preliminary Round (24 pianists each performing 20-minute recitals, to include one virtuosic etude and one Bach Prelude and Fugue) at SMU
  • Quarterfinal Round (12 pianists each performing a 30-minute recital, to include one movement of a Classical sonata and one lyrical work) at SMU
  • Semifinal Round (6 pianists each performing a 40-minute recital, to include one work by a living composer and one substantial work of at least 16 minutes in length (phase one), and one concerto movement with piano accompaniment (phase two)) at SMU
  • Final Round (3 pianists each performing one complete concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Valentina Peleggi) in a stunning conclusion at the Meyerson, followed by the Awards Ceremony directly after jury voting. 
  • Tickets on sale now.

INTERNATIONAL. Applicants and competitors hail from all around the world. 2023 applications totaled 248, with pianists representing 44 countries, and the 38 selected competitors and participants represent 13 countries. Widespread media coverage is expected; 2019 outreach resulted in over 120 stories in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

FESTIVAL. In addition to the Competition performances, a variety of events aimed at artistic advancement of competitors, festival participants, and other pianists will be offered, including masterclasses, workshops, artist conversations, performance discussions, and free community performances around Dallas. Full public schedule will be announced in May. Teaching artists include: Greg Anderson, Wu Han, Daniel Hsu, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Bridget Kibbey, Pamela Mia Paul, and Valentina Peleggi.


  • Janina Fialkowska, jury chairman (Canada)
  • Jane Coop (Canada)
  • Adam Golka (United States/Poland)
  • Carol Leone (United States)
  • Anton Nel (South Africa/USA)
  • Roberto Plano (Italy)
  • Katia Skanavi (Greece/Russia)
  • Jeffrey Swann (United States)
  • Orion Weiss (United States)

 Meadows School of the Arts is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally. The university will serve as home to the 2023 Junior Competition, hosting most performances and festival events, and housing the competitors.

DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. The largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs and more. For the second time, the orchestra partners with the Cliburn to perform in the Final Round at the Meyerson Symphony Center under the baton of Valentina Peleggi.

WEBCAST. All performances will be webcast live to a large international audience, with hosts providing commentary, interviews, and behind-the-scenes features. Views are expected to top 3 million across 170 countries.


  • June 8–9, 2023 – Preliminary Round (SMU)
  • June 10–11, 2023 – Quarterfinal Round (SMU)
  • June 14–15, 2023 – Semifinal Round (SMU)
  • June 17, 2023 – Final Round and Awards Ceremony (Meyerson)

. Competitors and festival participants will be housed at SMU for the duration of the Competition and Festival. All travel (domestic and international) and lodging will be provided by the Cliburn.

PRIZES. The first-prize winner will receive a cash award of $15,000; second prize is $10,000; and third prize is $5,000. All three top prizes will also include $2,500 scholarships.


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 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, age 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 (third edition, June 8–17, 2023) for exceptional 13- to 17-year-old pianists and the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition for outstanding non-professional pianists age 35 and older.

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. It presents 1,000 Cliburn in the Classroom 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 more than 40 million views from 177 nations for competition webcasts; 300 concerts worldwide booked for competition winners; more than 10,000 news articles about the Cliburn and its winners; and regular national radio broadcasts to 245 public radio stations.

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

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