360westblog's Blog

May 20, 2009

The Cliburn: kicking back Cowtown-style

Filed under: Uncategorized — 360westblog @ 6:19 pm


Tim Matheus (in black shirt standing near windshield) and his pink Caddy on the Bass Hall sidewalk.

Tim Matheus (in black shirt standing near windshield) and his pink Caddy on the Bass Hall sidewalk.


Cliburn competitor Vassilis Varvaresos

Cliburn competitor Vassilis Varvaresos

The 29 Cliburn competitors (and their hosts) gathered as a group for the first time at Bass Hall this morning, to pose for a big photo, get pep talks from the jury chairman and Cliburn execs, and face the media.
Chatting with the host families, it’s obvious that this year’s party pad has already been established: The place to be is Tim and Susan Matheus’ home outside of town. They’re hosting Israeli pianist Ran Dank, who Tim says is enjoying kicking back and watching Lakers games with the family on an enormous 30-foot screen he’s rigged in his back yard. Dank’s Juilliard roommate, Vassilis Varvaresos of Greece, who is staying with Andrew Power and family, is hanging out a lot with Ron and helping form an early nucleus of competitors who like to play hard after all the piano practice is done.
Hosts Tim Matheus and Andrew Power are helping set the tone: They were seen whooping it up outside Bass Hall with Tim’s awesomely pink 1959 Cadillac and a stash of cowboy hats to let competitors from around the world pose for cheesy-but-fun Texas photo ops. They’ve already taken their pianists out to eat at Fort Worth’s finest: Reata, Angelo’s and Joe T. Garcia’s. A few other hosts, though, said ruefully that all their competitors are doing so far is practicing. The music starts Friday, and you can watch every note at www.cliburn.tv.



– Marilyn Bailey


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