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Voting Now Open for Van Cilburn Amateur Piano Video Contest! [DEADLINE, August 15]

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Aug 08, 2014 12:31 PM EDT | Maria Jean Sullivan (m.sullivan@classicalite.com)

In 1958, 23-year-old American pianist Van Cliburn of Kilgore, Texas won the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.

In 1958, 23-year-old American pianist Van Cliburn of Kilgore, Texas won the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. (Photo : Facebook/vancliburn)

The Cliburn Amateur Piano Video Contest has opened voting for the 40 entrants in this year’s video competition to get access to the seventh Cliburn Amateur Competition in summer of 2016. Online voting will be open now through August 15 for the contest. Criteria includes amateur classical pianists age 35 who do not solely rely on their music as income but rather tickle the ivories for fun.

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By “amateur” Cliburn specifically means someone who has a serious hobby of playing the piano. Meaning, “sometimes having had to make the difficult choice between their profession and a potential career as a concert artist.” Having been classically trained is not necessary. The competition is really meant to celebrate those individuals who have a strong passion for learning and playing piano outside of their 9-5-work day.

You can click through here to vote on your favorite of the 40 contestants--representing seven countries including the U.S.--who are by day anything from a journalist to pharmacist and software engineer to a preschool teacher. Their videos range form 5 to 10 minutes of unprofessional talented bliss.

Watch below our pick, Michelle Rhee an ophthalmologist from America, performing a fantastic rendition of Maurice Ravel’s sonatine “Modere-Mouvement de Menuet.” And stay tuned as the winner of the Cliburn Amateur Piano Video Contest will be announced on August 19.

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