Call us forward-thinking

What institution of higher learning wouldn't like to be able to claim that its graduates are ahead of their time? Answer: the University of Manitoba , in Canada. Instead - even though it promotes itself as "One University. Many Futures" - the school is apologizing for a gaffe at last week's commencement. It seems roughly 800 seniors were handed diplomas that, below the embossed seal , give the year in which their degrees were conferred as "two thousand and six." The error wasn't discovered until just prior to the ceremony. Thus, plans call for each diploma to be exchanged for a corrected version - in person for those still on campus, by mail for those already on a career path elsewhere. The school, says its director of public affairs, is "doing everything we can" to fix the mistake "with as little inconvenience to the graduates as possible."

Six pianists who do more than just tickle the ivories

After pianist Van Cliburn of Fort Worth, Texas, won the prestigious Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1958, people from his hometown decided to name a similar event after him. Established in 1962, the Van Clilburn International Piano Competition is held every four years. Last Sunday was the culmination of a process that began with 270 written applications and invitations to 147 pianists from 34 countries to audition. Thirty-five were brought to Fort Worth, and six finalists performed to select the finest young professional pianist. Russian Alexander Kobrin, who played Mozart and Rachmaninoff, won the gold medal. The top three finishers, each of whom won $20,000 and three years of concert management, plus the remaining finalists, with their home countries:

1. Alexander Kobrin, Russia
2. Joyce Yang, South Korea
3. Sa Chen, China
Davide Cabassi, Itay
Roberto Plano, Italy
Chu-Fang Huang, China
- Associated Press

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