The Van Cliburn piano competition is one of the most prestigious and competitive musical contests in the world. This year’s competition wrapped up a few days ago, and the winners have been announced. There was a tie for first place between Haochen Zhang, 19, of China and Nobuyuki Tsujii, 20, of Japan. Here is Zhang in his final round recital, playing the final movement (“Scarbo”) from Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit.
And here is Tsujii in his semifinal round recital, playing a section from one of the towering monuments of the piano literature: Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata. Oh, did I mention that Tsujii has been blind since birth? This is an amazing achievement: