piano

A 17-year-old from Kazakhstan won the top $10,000 prize Sunday at the first-ever Cliburn International Junior Piano competition in Fort Worth.

Nathan Cone

Kenneth Thompson, executive director of Musical Arts Center of San Antonio, remembers the first time he heard Rhiannon Bishop play. It was at a recital featuring area students. “I was sitting there enjoying the concert, but when Rhiannon was performing, there was something that really reached through my ears and into my heart.”

When Oscar Paz Suaznabar plays the piano, he does so with feeling.

The Alexandria, Va., resident has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and on the NPR show From the Top. He is 9 years old.

Oscar started playing his older sister's keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The sorrow he conveys when he plays "The Lark" by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka is drawn from the kind of loss any 9-year-old can understand.

You wouldn't normally expect one of the great composers of the last few centuries to be meek, but how's this for humility?

"Bach and Beethoven erected temples and churches on the heights. I only wanted to build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy, and at home."

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