Third International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs


I managed to get into the 2002 competition, and I am glad I did, because it was week of pure fun, and it made me learn to play a few more piano pieces better than ever before. There were all kinds of interesting people there, as well as friends I met at the 2000 competition. The friendly Van Cliburn Foundation staff and volunteers really know how to put on a competition! They had everything well organized, kept us pianists calm backstage, arranged for great parties and dinners, and filled the week with such interesting events that I hardly got any sleep. Some of the jury gave me very encouraging comments afterwards as well. My thanks goes out to all involved!

During the week, I kept my digital camera very busy. You can see the pictures here.

If anyone needs a high resolution version of any of them or a printed copy, just email me at viktors@berstis.com. I don't have enough web space to hold all of the pictures at full resolution. I also have videos of the finals and part of the semifinals (I didn't bring enough tape for them). Perhaps I will put these on DVD(s) along with the pictures to make a souvenir disk, if people say they would be interested in this.

Here are several news articles I collected during the event. Please send me any others you may know of so I can add them to the list.

Here is an interesting link to a collection of miniature pianos that Amy Brown, one of the Van Cliburn staff, keeps on her website: http://www.minipianos.com.

We saw a demonstration of a 7/8 size keyboard. I was able to reach a twelfth! The Steinbuhler and Company site offers smaller keyboards that can easily be switched with the regular Steinway keyboard/action. This is great for people with small fingers who would like to play pieces that need large stretches. Visit http://www.steinbuhler.com to find out more about them. It might, however, be a while before they use these in competitions.