The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, from May 22 to June 7, will offer online live coverage of events via streamed webcasts at Though the competition has offered streamed audio since 2001 and introduced an online video player in 2005, this year it upgraded to Silverlight 2.0 technology, allowing for real-time webcasts of all 30 pianists as they compete at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. Live streamed webcasts will be offered at the site eleven hours per day; those performances will then be archived and made available for on-demand viewing. Pianist and arts advocate Jade Simmons will host the webcasts, along with occasional co-host Steve Cumming, radio broadcaster and announcer for the competition. Behind-the-scenes coverage will include backstage views and live rehearsals with maestro James Conlon and the Takács Quartet. The website’s interactive features will include two blogs and an “email the competitor” area, as well as an online audience vote, which will not influence the outcome of each round. The competition’s four symposia—featuring diplomats, members of the press, and competition jurors—will also be covered live.

Posted April 24, 2009