Van Cliburn Index

Ivan Chermayeff

The 2009 Van Cliburn Piano Competition is getting into gear and the initial batch of 30 participants has been settled on. Miss Mussel is happy to announce that Ang Li is representing Canada.

The following is a bit of fun with stats in the style of the Harper’s Index. Data has been gathered from the official performer bios and the Van Cliburn site.

Average age of 2009 participants: 24.6 years

According to their supplied bios, the average age at which 2009 participants gave their first performance: 10

Chances that participants have already released or are under contract to release a recording: 1 in 3

Number of competitions, on average, that a 2009 has competed in already: 3.3

Chances that a participant was born in Asia: 1 in 2

Percentage of Asian participantss that were born in China: 53.3%

Countries represented in the 2009 competition that have not had a winner in previous years: Greece

Chances that a participant has studied in the United States: 2 in 5

Chances that a participant in 2009 did not attend a conservatory: 1 in 10

Number of past Cliburn finalists that were American: 13

Number from countries that were or currently are Communist: 24

Date of the last competition with an American in first place: 1997

Number of ties for any place: 5 Number for first place: 1

Number of Y chromosomes participating in the 2009 competition: 17

Percentage of all-time finalists that are male: 81.4%

Chances that a participant in possession of a Y chromosome will take first prize: 5 in 6

The number in years since a woman has won first prize outright: 40

Likelihood that a past competition winner is now teaching on faculty at a university or conservatory: 4:25 — Of those, the number that currently teach in America 7

Number of previous winners that Miss Mussel can name check: 3

1 comment

  1. Robert Huffman

    Hello: In the orginal list of competitors, I saw the name of Giuseepe Andaloro, but don’t see him listed any longer. Did he drop out, or was he eliminated, which I find hard to believe! Could you please respond to my inquiry. Also, I’m awaiting information on how to view the finals. Thank you!
    Sincerely, Robert Huffman

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