FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The music of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will not play in 2021.

Officials are erring on the side of caution and have delayed the sixteenth edition of the flagship competition until June of 2022.

Martin Bartlett plays one of the Hamburg Steinways as he makes a piano selection for The 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. (credit: Ralph Lauer)

A statement by president and CEO Jacques Marquis, on cliburn.org, said, in part —

“The Cliburn Competition is a once-every-four-years opportunity for us to showcase exceptional artists to the world, to bring the international classical music community together in Fort Worth, to create a singular event for our hometown, and, in the end, to launch careers.  It’s become clear in recent months that the continuing effects of the pandemic will prevent us from producing an event at the level and with the impact that our patrons, our supporters, and—most importantly—our competitors deserve.”

The 2022 competition will be held at Bass Performance Hall and the Van Cliburn Concert Hall on the Texas Christian University (TCU) campus in Fort Worth from June 2 through June 18. The event was previously slated for May 27 – June 12, 2021.

The Cliburn said they decided to postpone the competition, a first since the organization’s inception in 1962, because of social distancing limitations and safety protocols for in-person events, possible issues with international travel and just the uncertainty of event planning — which is a complex, multiyear process.