Park University Student Selected to Compete in Prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Ilya ShmuklerApril 26, 2022 — Park University International Center for Music graduate student Ilya Shmukler is one of 30 competitors who have been selected to participate in the 16th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which begins Thursday, June 2, in Fort Worth, Texas.

In advance of the Cliburn event, Shmukler will perform a recital concert on Saturday, May 7, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s flagship Parkville Campus. Admission to the concert is free.

Considered one of the renowned international music contests, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition began in 1962 in honor of Cliburn. The event includes the world’s top 18- to 30-year-old pianists competing for cash prizes, comprehensive career management, artistic support and bolstered publicity efforts for three years.

The 27-year-old Shmukler competed in the 15th Cliburn event in 2017, advancing to the quarterfinal round, prior to becoming a student at Park University in 2019. He has won a number of international piano competitions, including the New York Virtuoso, Lewisville (Texas) Lake Symphony, Artist Presentation Society (St. Louis), Shigeru Kawai (Tokyo), Sсriabin–Rachmaninov (Bulgaria) and Rachmaninov (St. Petersburg, Russia) events. In 2021, he won the Carnegie Weill Recital Hall Debut Audition and will make his New York debut at the venerated venue in December 2022.

A native of Tomilino, Russia, Shmukler says his life changed after applying for and winning his first music competition at age 10. He performed his first recital at 12 and made his orchestral debut at 14. He has since made solo appearances throughout North America and Europe, and has performed with the Mariinsky Theatre, Sendai Philharmonic, Bayer Symphoniker, Tambov Symphonic and New Music Orchestra.

Shmukler, who earned a graduate certificate in music performance from Park in 2021 and is currently pursuing a graduate artist diploma in music performance, is a student of Park ICM artistic director and founder Stanislav Ioudenitch. Ioudenitch, who was the co-gold medalist of the 11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001, also instructs Park ICM graduate student Kenny Broberg, silver medalist of the 15th Cliburn event in 2017. Shmukler also earned a master’s degree from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 2021.

The Cliburn competition kicks off with all 30 competitors performing during the preliminary round, Thursday-Saturday, June 2-4, at the Van Cliburn Concert Hall at Texas Christian University. Eighteen competitors will move on to the quarterfinals, Sunday-Saturday, June 5-6. The event then moves to Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall for the semifinals and final round. The semifinals, featuring 12 competitors, will be held Wednesday-Sunday, June 8-12; the final round will include six competitors performing Tuesday-Wednesday, June 14-15, and Friday-Saturday, June 17-18. For complete details about the Cliburn competition, visit



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