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A Surprise In Texas: Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Airs Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: The winners of the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (from left to right): Yeol Eum Son, 23 (Korea), Silver Medal; Nobuyuki Tsujii, 20 (Japan), Gold Medal (tie); Haochen Zhang, 19 (China), Gold Medal (tie).

Gold Medalist (tie) Nobuyuki Tsujii (20 from Japan) performs with the Forth Worth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro James Conlon, during the finals of The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas (2009).
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Above: Gold Medalist (tie) Nobuyuki Tsujii (20 from Japan) performs with the Forth Worth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro James Conlon, during the finals of The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas (2009).

This documentary is a behind-the-scenes experience of the most prestigious piano contest in the world. Twenty-nine of the world’s best young pianists hailing from fourteen countries converged in Fort Worth for a once-in-a-lifetime chance at the coveted gold medal in the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

"Nobu fever" became a term in the world of classical music after 20 year-old Nobuyuki Tsujii from Japan won the competition in June 2009. This film follows Nobu, who is blind from birth, through the three weeks of grueling practice, rehearsal and performance during the competition, and is an inspiration to all people who face disabilities, hurdles or obstacles in life.

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Trailer: A Surprise In Texas: Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Above: "A Surprise In Texas: The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition" literally brings the viewer backstage during a rigorous three-week competition schedule in May and June 2009, and offers insight into the daily lives of the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition finalists while they were in Fort Worth, Texas.