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Six International Pianists In Cliburn Competition Gear Up For Final Performances

Bill Zeeble
These are the six Cliburn finalists for 2017. Standing, l-r, Daniel Hsu, Kenneth Broberg, Yekwon Sunwoo, Yuri Favorin, sitting, l-r, Rachel Cheung, Georgy Tchaidze

Six remaining finalists in the 15th Van Cliburn have a chance at one of the top three medals as the international piano competition wraps up this weekend.

Final performances will be played in Fort Worth's Bass Hall Friday night and conclude Saturday afternoon. In nearby Sundance Square, the world-class performances will be streamed live and for free.

The six finalists include Americans Kenneth Broberg and Daniel Hsu, Yury Favorin and Georgy Tchaidze of Russia, Yekwon Sunwoo of South Korea and Rachel Cheung of Hong Kong, the only female competitor.

Cheung, 25, says she's tackling her nerves by treating the performances like concerts instead of a contest. It helps that she's playing her very favorite music. 

"I have never imagined that I would have gone this far. I’m just so overwhelmed now," Cheung says.

One of two U.S. finalists, Kenneth Broberg, has studied in Texas. He says now's the time to let loose.

Kenneth Broberg's comment

"You just have to give everything," Broberg says.  "Anything left, just put it all out there."

Also, for the first time, Saturday's Cliburn finals will be carried live across the country in 300 movie theaters. There is a ticket charge — learn more at

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.