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June 7, 2002
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Arts/Entertainment: Overnight
Performer profile: Dave Duebendorfer


By OLIN CHISM / The Dallas Morning News

Twenty-two years ago Dave Duebendorfer quit piano "cold turkey," as he puts it. He had been following a two-track course, international business and piano performance, a heavy load for anybody.

He went on to earn an M.B.A. from Harvard and a degree in international management from the University of California at Los Angeles, then advanced to top positions with two Swiss financial institutions. Now, as managing director of WG Trading Co. in Greenwich, Conn., he's an expert in the arcane field of hedge funds.

Also Online
The Third International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs takes place June 3-8 at Ed Landreth Auditorium, Texas Christian University, University and West Cantey in Fort Worth.
Complete packages: $105
Semifinals, finals and awards: $60
Individual sessions: $10 for preliminaries, $20 for semifinals and $35 for finals and awards.
Call Central Tickets, 817-335-9000 or 1-800-462-7979.
Preliminary round (June 3-5): Seventy-five applicants will each present a program not to exceed 12 minutes.
Preliminary round schedule
Semifinal round (June 7): Eighteen semifinalists will each present a program not to exceed 20 minutes.
Semifinal round schedule
Final round (June 8): Six finalists will each present a program not to exceed 30 minutes.
The Competitors
The Jurors
First prize: $2,000
Second prize: $1,000
Third prize: $500
Other prizes: Press jury award; audience award; awards for the best performance of a work from the baroque, classical and romantic eras; best performance of a modern work; most creative programming award; and jury discretionary awards.
On the Web
WFAA Video: Amateurs attracting more attention
International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs
Cliburn Foundation official site
But the lure of the piano was ever present, and two years ago Mr. Duebendorfer decided to take it up again. On Tuesday afternoon he joined the parade of high achievers across the stage of Ed Landreth Auditorium, playing music of Albéniz and Chopin for the judges of the Cliburn Amateur. He was among the 18 semifinalists chosen Wednesday night and is scheduled to perform at 9:35 p.m. Friday.

It hasn't been easy getting back into shape, he admits. "If you don't practice regularly," he says, "terrible things happen to your technique." His original goal in renewing the piano was to record some personal CDs, and the Cliburn Amateur provided a useful forum. This is his first time at the event.

Like many of the competitors, Mr. Duebendorfer went into a profession far afield from music. But he thinks that music makes him "a more complete person." One thing he likes about the Cliburn Amateur is making the acquaintance of like-minded people. He sees them as colleagues, not as adversaries.

The fact that it has taken him a while to get his technique back doesn't bother him. "I'm in no rush," he says with a smile.

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