Van Cliburn Piano Contest For Amateurs Begins

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(credit: TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

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FORT WORTH (AP) - The Van Cliburn Foundation’s Sixth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs gets under way with 72 competitors — including a jeweler, a teacher and a Formula One race car designer.

The event starts Monday for those age 35 and older who don’t earn their living teaching or playing the piano — but many are classically trained. The weeklong contest is at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

The event is an offshoot of the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and is held every four years in the pianist’s hometown of Fort Worth, most recently in 2009.

Cliburn isn’t a judge at either competition but presents awards. The acclaimed pianist shot to fame after winning the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1958.

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