skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

They Came To Play

Airs Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Henri-Robert Delbeau competes at the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation.

Esfir Ross competes at the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation
Enlarge this image

Above: Esfir Ross competes at the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation

"They Came to Play" is an uplifting documentary chronicling the passion, pressure and potential surrounding the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation - a prestigious event which reunites 75 of the world's best amateur pianists with their dreams, if only for a brief time.

Players from all over the world, ranging from self-taught to classically-trained, aged 35 to almost 80, convene in Fort Worth, Texas for a week of intense competition, music and camaraderie. Entertaining, irreverent and, above all, inspiring, "They Came to Play" provides an intimate look into the lives of these colorful, multi-faceted competitors as they strive to balance the demands of work and family with their love of music.

"They Came To Play" is on Facebook.

Video

Trailer: They Came To Play

Above: "They Came to Play" is an uplifting documentary chronicling the passion, pressure and potential surrounding the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation - a prestigious event which reunites 75 of the world's best amateur pianists with their dreams, if only for a brief time.

Video

Amateurs 2007: Esfir Ross plays Thalberg

Above: Esfir Ross plays Thalberg, Fantasy on "Casta Diva" from Bellini's Norma, Op. 70 during the semifinals of the fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs on June 1, 2007.

Video

Amateurs 2007: Henri-Robert Delbeau

Above: Henri-Robert Delbeau plays Rimsky-Korsakov/Rachmaninoff, "Flight of the Bumblebee" during the preliminaries of the fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs on May 29, 2007.