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Northwestern’s Van Cliburn participant eliminated from competition

Northwestern University piano student EunAe Lee Northwestern University’s first representative to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, was eliminated from the premier event Sunday evening. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

EunAe Lee, Northwestern University’s first representative to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, was eliminated from the premier event Sunday evening.

Lee was not among the 20 quarter finalists named on the competition’s website.

The 29-year-old South Korean doctoral student at the Bienen School of Music joined 29 other pianists from around the world, ranging in age from 18 to 30, in what one past competitor called “the most grueling three weeks of my life.” Lee prepared by practicing eight hours a day, sometimes more. Her music included pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Ravel.

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“I’m not even thinking of winning. I just want to perform, and I want to do the best that I can,” Lee previously told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Cliburn began earlier this year with auditions for 125 prospective contestants in seven cities around the world. The actual competition, divided into four rounds, began Friday and runs through June 10 in Fort Worth, Texas.