Who Are the Amateurs at the Cliburn Competition?

The Finals will be held on Saturday at the Bass Performance Hall.

By Hady MawajdehJune 24, 2016 9:30 am, , ,

From KERA Art & Seek

For a professional pianist it’s common to travel the globe performing in beautiful performance halls like Bridgewater Hall or the Berliner Philharmonie.

And it’s even easier if you can play like the man in video below. But that man isn’t a professional. That’s Jorge Zamora, an amateur contestant at the Cliburn Amateur Competition, and he’s traveled from Mexico City to perform in Fort Worth this week.

Zamora says the word can be used disparagingly, but that perhaps it shouldn’t be. “The word amateur in Portuguese is called “amador,” says Zamora, “and [amador]  means someone who loves. So the people who are here are music lovers and they have to play.”

The Cliburn’s amateur contest was created to help spread a love for classical piano music and Zamora –who had stopped performing to focus on his career – is exactly the sort of person they were targeting.

“I started to be self conscience about playing in public,” says Zamora, “When I realized 10 years had passed, I found out that I could enter the 2011 Van Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition and that’s when I started to perform again in public.”

Jacques Marquis, The Cliburn’s CEO, believes that the contest can bring piano lovers back to the keys.

“They are doctors, lawyers, engineers, mothers at home and they love the music, they love the piano. And, they decided to participate because they have a desire of sharing the music,” says Marquis.

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