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The Cliburn

The Fourteenth Cliburn Competition: May 24-June 9, 2013

Meet Cliburn contestant Sara Daneshpour

14th Van Cliburn

International Piano Competition

May 24-June 9

Bass Hall


Posted 12:58pm on Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2013

5 of 30

A series of conversations with the Cliburn competitors

Sara Daneshpour

(Pronounced SAH-rah DAH-nesh-pour)

Nationality: American

Born: Washington, D.C.

Lives: New York City

Age: 26

What she has in common with Fort Worth Symphony conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya: Both are products of Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with the legendary pianist Leon Fleisher. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Juilliard (where Harth-Bedoya did his undergraduate work), where she studies with Cliburn judge Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky.

Where she was when she got the call telling her she made the cut: In a grocery store in New York. "I'll never look at a produce section the same way again," Daneshpour says.

Favorite composer: Rachmaninoff

But that's not all she listens to: Daneshpour lists Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, 2Pac, Lauryn Hill, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Michael Jackson and "so many more" as her favorite nonclassical artists.

Most memorable concert experience: "Performing at the Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory," she says.

On why she loves being a pianist: "I think the best part about being a musician is that every day you wake up and you make music, and your life is always interwoven with music. It can't be better than this!"

What she enjoys doing when not playing piano: "Being outside in nature."

On the responsibilities of being an artist: "An artist, in my opinion, has a responsibility to use their craft and talent to improve upon the world around him or her, no matter how small or large the improvement may be. It is inherent within music to connect across cultures and bypass barriers that have been artificially placed that continue to divide our world," she says in her Cliburn application.

-- Punch Shaw,

Special to the Star-Telegram

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