In Tuesday’s (7/14) Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), Pete Alfano reports, “Richard Rodzinski, president of the Van Cliburn Foundation, announced his retirement Tuesday, ending his 23-year tenure with one of the most prestigious piano competitions in the world. Rodzinki will remain with the Cliburn until his contract expires on Feb. 1, 2010 as the foundation initiates its search for his successor. Since 1986, when Rodzinski was hired as executive director, he has overseen six competitions, the most recent ending June 7. He was named president in 2002. … Rodzinski instituted a number of changes for the competition. Among them were live auditions worldwide, new voting procedures and a change in the format of the competition finals. Many of these changes have been adopted by other international piano competitions. He also was in the forefront of using technology and new media to increase the Cliburn’s exposure with streaming audio and video of the competition, as well as a competition Web site, which reached 200,000 listeners in 156 countries. … One of his proudest initiatives came in 1999 when he started the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, an event he has presented five times.”

Posted July 15, 2009