Under the direction of Robert Spano, FWSO and 19-year-old pianist, Yunchan Lim lit up the audience inside Bass Hall on opening night. It was Lim’s highly anticipated return to the stage where he became the youngest-ever winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2022 (and has since become a piano rock star).
Following the concert, FWSO's most devoted supporters joined a dinner party hosted by chairman Mercedes T. Bass and the FWSO board of directors. The Opening Night Celebration honored Alann B. Sampson for decades of service to the orchestra, the Cliburn, and the greater Fort Worth arts and cultural community. FWSO principal pianist, Shields-Collins “Buddy" Bray introduced Sampson as recipient of the prestigious FWSO Medal of Excellence. Sampson joined the FWSO Board of Directors in 1991 and has been involved with the Cliburn since its inception.