Alabamian wins amateur pianist crown

June 4, 2007 at 9:15 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas, June 4 (UPI) -- An Alabama ophthalmologist was sharper than 74 other pianists in taking the Cliburn Foundation's International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs.

Drew Mays, 47, who also won best performance of a Romantic-era work, accepted his prize from his childhood idol, Van Cliburn, as well as a check for $2,000, recital dates in Washington and Laguna Beach, Calif., and a pair of custom spurs, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Monday. The 5-year-old competition was on the Texas Christian University Campus in Fort Worth last week.

Phoenix lawyer Mark Fuller won second prize, which carries a $1,500 check, the press jury award and best performance of a post-Romantic work. Fort Worth resident and composer Clark Griffith placed third and won best performance of a Baroque work.

Mays drew applause for his recital of Ludwig von Beethoven's "Waldstein Sonata" and Franz Liszt's "Mephisto Waltz," the newspaper reported. Fuller also impressed listeners with a program of Ned Rorem "Etudes" and Samuel Barber's "Sonata, Opus 26."

The award ceremonies Sunday became a concert when four jury members performed an eight-hand piano arrangement of the waltz from Charles Gounod's "Faust" and John Philip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

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