Blind Pianist Among 6 Cliburn Finalists

Sunday, Jul 12, 2009  |  Updated 11:06 AM CDT
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Blind Pianist Among 6 Cliburn Finalists

Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Joyce Marshall

Nobuyuki Tsujii, right, was named one of the finalists of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Translator Kay Nakamoto is at left. Star-Telegram/Joyce Marshall.

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Three women and three men, including a blind pianist from Japan, have advanced to the finals of the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Cliburn officials announced the six finalists late Sunday. They are Di Wu and Haochen Zhang of China, Nobuyuki Tsujii of Japan, Yeol Eum Son of South Korea, Evgeni Bozhanov of Bulgaria and Mariangela Vacatello of Italy.

Cliburn officials initially said Tsujii was the competition's first blind competitor but recently were reminded about a blind pianist who didn't advance past the first round in 1973.

Awards will be presented next Sunday after each performs two concerts with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and a solo recital in the final round.

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