The 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition starts today, May 25, in Fort Worth and, thanks to streaming video, offers an early chance to see who will be the guest artist for the Waco Symphony Orchestra's season-opening concert.
The WSO has an ongoing contract with The Cliburn to book the gold medalist from each quadrennial competition (and sometimes silver and bronze winners), so this year's winner will appear in Waco on Sept. 21.
First-round performances are now underway and being streamed, although your computer browser has to have Flash enabled. There's also 30 contestants this year so if you want to see them all, prepare to set aside some time.
There's a bonus for fans of piano duo Greg Anderson and Liz Roe, who've played twice here in recent years: The twosome will provide webcast commentary throughout the 17-day competition.
For those who like their piano action on a bigger scale than a computer or phone screen, Fathom Events will broadcast last two days of the competition — five hours' worth — on June 10 at Regal Jewel 16 Cinema.
Of course, one also can buy tickets and attend in person.