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NOVA
Treasures of the Earth: Gems

 

Gemstones like diamonds, rubies, opal and jade are some of Earth’s ultimate treasures. Delve into the depths to discover how these precious stones are forged and what explains the unique allure of each captivating gemstone.

 

Virtuosity:
The Cliburn

 

Every four years, a group of the finest young pianists takes the stage at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. The pressure on these artists is overwhelming, because the stakes are so high: prize money, concert bookings, a recording contract, a career. At the heart of this story is the courage it takes for a 20-year-old to go onstage alone before 2,000 people, and hundreds of thousands more online, and play a unique interpretation of one of the most difficult pieces ever written for the piano. The competition requires not only a transcendent musical ability, but a mental toughness that must sustain the soloist through three straight weeks of performance. The Cliburn becomes as much a test of character as a musical proving ground.