Top Two Cliburn Winners A Contrast

Russian pianist Alexander Kobrin wins top honors at the Van Cliburn Competition; South Korean Joyce Yang wins second and Chines pianist Sa Chen wins third. “Kobrin and Yang, the two top prize winners, couldn’t be more different. Kobrin polarized critics, bloggers and audience members. He often received screaming ovations, and fans threw carnations on the stage after his chamber orchestra performance Thursday night. Yet, some critics reacted strongly toward his steely style, dubbing him “The Undertaker.” Yang, on the other hand, is effervescent. She so dominated the news conference after the awards, that it was easy to forget Kobrin was actually the gold medalist.”