Van Cliburn Finalist to Perform at OBU

Davide Cabassi, a finalist for the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, will perform at Oklahoma Baptist University Tuesday, Feb. 14. The Valentine’s Day concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Yarborough Auditorium.

Cabassi made his orchestral debut at the age of 13 with the RAI Symphony Orchestra in Milan, Italy. He also has collaborated with the Munich Philharmonic, the Neue Philharmonic Westfalen, and the Russian Chamber Philharmonic, as well as with several Italian orchestras.

“We are fortunate to be able to present finalists from each of the Cliburn International Piano Competitions. It is exciting to be able to host one of the world’s outstanding young pianists,” said Dr. Paul Hammond, dean of OBU’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts.

The Cliburn competition is in Fort Worth, Texas every four years and draws international attention as pianists from many countries compete for prizes which will advance their careers as musicians. Named after the renowned classical pianist, the competition attracts attention to young musicians from around the world, bringing interest and support to classical music.

Cabassi has recorded extensively for television and radio broadcasts in Italy. In December 2004, he recorded a solo disc for BMG Records called Dancing with the Orchestra, featuring compositions by Bartok, De Falla, Ravel, and Stravinsky.

Cabassi is one of four young artists prominently featured in a documentary film about the 12th Cliburn Competition, In the Heart of Music, which aired on PBS stations in the U.S. in October 2005 and will be distributed throughout Europe via the Arte Network.

After graduating from Milan’s Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory, Cabassi spent several years as one of the few select students at the International Piano Foundation in Cadenabbia, Italy, where he studied with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Dmitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher, Rosalyn Tureck, and William Grant Nabore, among others.

As a top prize-winner of the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Competition, Cabassi is on a three-year series of concert engagements throughout the United States. During the 2005-2006 concert season, he will appear as soloist with the Big Spring (Texas) and Enid (Okla.) Symphony Orchestras. International engagements will take him to Austria, Germany, Malta, Russia, and Italy this season.