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Van Cliburn, American
classical pianist, dies

Associated Press, by Angela K. Brown

Original Article

Posted By:JoniTx, 2/27/2013 12:39:32 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas- Van Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status, has died. He was 78. Cliburn died early Wednesday at his Fort Worth home surrounded by loved ones following a battle with bone cancer, said his publicist and longtime friend Mary Lou Falcone. Cliburn made what would be his last public appearance in September at the 50th anniversary of the prestigious piano competition named for him.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: texaspast, 2/27/2013 12:53:31 PM     (No. 9199173)

A great artist, a good man, who lived a dignified public life. He never used his fame and abilities as a soapbox for anything other than his beloved art. A great Texan who grew up in the East Texas oilfield, son of an oil man, taught piano by his mother. He graduated from Kilgore High School, in Kilgore, Texas. He was one of us.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: zephyrgirl, 2/27/2013 12:55:24 PM     (No. 9199179)

May he rest in peace.

I saw him once in concert. I´ll never forget what a great experience that was.

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R-G1
  
R-VAR_AD


 
Reply 3 - Posted by: mitzi, 2/27/2013 12:59:19 PM     (No. 9199187)

I can´t recall the exact year (sometime in late 50s) - we (HS orchestra) had a field trip to one of his performances in NYC.

I´m surprised to see his age. He seemed so much older than us at the time.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: antiquegolf, 2/27/2013 1:00:28 PM     (No. 9199192)

My late mother admired him.

RIP

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Reply 5 - Posted by: StormCnter, 2/27/2013 1:03:23 PM     (No. 9199196)

Good night, Van. What an inspiration and a blessing your life has been. We in Fort Worth were especially rewarded by Van Cliburn´s residence here and involvement in so many community causes and projects. In the early days of the Cliburn Competition, I attended each day´s preliminaries. Back then, it was free and such a treat for anyone, particularly an amateur pianist.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: mabeldog, 2/27/2013 1:04:15 PM     (No. 9199198)

An American hero from the old school for those of us who remember his win at the Tchiakovsky competition during the dangerous days of the cold war. Khruschev said when asked by the judges if the American was allowed to win, "If he´s the best give him the prize."

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Reply 7 - Posted by: rosefenn, 2/27/2013 1:23:13 PM     (No. 9199227)

Now I am crying at work. I own all his recordings, have loved and admired him since I was a teenager. I was privileged to hear him in concert twice. What a lovely man and a great artist and an inspiration to so many young musicians all over the world. Thank you Maestro for all the hours and hours of beauty you brought into my life, and the worlds you opened up to me. Ave atque vale!

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Reply 8 - Posted by: rubberneck, 2/27/2013 1:25:03 PM     (No. 9199233)

Time magazine´s 1958 cover story quoted a friend as saying Cliburn could become "the first man in history to be a Horowitz, Liberace and Presley all rolled into one."

I´d call him "the Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, and Eddie Merckx of classical pianists." Each an eternal legend in his discipline.

Even his old B&W performances (on Youtube, etc.) are electrifying, and very much worth reviewing.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: spit the bit, 2/27/2013 1:36:30 PM     (No. 9199257)

Sat in the first row at his performance of the Grieg piano concerto. I was struck by his delicate and elegant manner at the keyboard, but more at his composed and humble manner away from it. A rousing ovation didn´t phase him. A great loss.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: William A. Hollerman, 2/27/2013 1:42:05 PM     (No. 9199268)

Like the article said, he practiced piano every day until recently. This is a good life-long lesson. Even as great as he was, he felt he had to practice every day. Greatness is earned by effort, and sheer will to succeed. We are all thankful for Texan Van Cliburn. Let us live by his example. RIP

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Reply 11 - Posted by: kanphil, 2/27/2013 1:44:50 PM     (No. 9199273)

When he won that first Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, many expected the Soviets to be resentful, as they regarded the music as Russian property. Instead, the Russians were so impressed with his performance that they embraced him as their own. Even though we seldom saw him out in public, we knew he was with us. We will miss him.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: altoona, 2/27/2013 1:57:10 PM     (No. 9199286)

Modest man, towering talent. Rest in peace.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: JoniTx, 2/27/2013 2:13:58 PM     (No. 9199314)

Found this on YouTube: Van Cliburn - concert video from Russia with Music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_1y7s4BJKg

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Leshno, 2/27/2013 2:15:44 PM     (No. 9199318)

As a child, I spontaneously leapt to my feet at the conclusion of a Van Cliburn concert. What a glorious moment!!

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Reply 15 - Posted by: country boy, 2/27/2013 2:37:04 PM     (No. 9199362)

"Music is mankind´s gift to itself"
... Ludwig van Beethoven.

Mr Cliburn, Thank you for a lifetime of service.

RIP

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Mr. Know-It-All, 2/27/2013 2:37:13 PM     (No. 9199364)

Wow! How can one person do that with just 10 finers?!

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Mr. Know-It-All, 2/27/2013 2:37:54 PM     (No. 9199365)

Oops. That´s "fingers". Darned defective keyboard.

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R_DBL_B
  


 
Reply 18 - Posted by: pickle1, 2/27/2013 2:39:52 PM     (No. 9199367)

He was great.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Starfire, 2/27/2013 3:37:33 PM     (No. 9199460)

Mrs. Buddy Fogelson (Greer Garson) was one of Van Cliburn’s dear friends. In the 90s, he played a concert for the grand opening of the Fogelson Forum (named for Mrs. Garson’s late husband) at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.

In her later years, Mrs. Fogelson lived in an apartment at the hospital and Mr. Cliburn would often visit her. I was always impressed by their courtesy, grace and dignity. Today’s celebrities should pay attention to their example.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: ScarletPimpernel, 2/27/2013 3:43:32 PM     (No. 9199473)

Oh my. I saw van Cliburn in concert in the late 1970s. I´ve always read that he was a very gracious man. Thanks for the wonderful link, #13. Liszt is difficult to play.

#7, may you treasure your collection always! Thank you for sharing.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: ScarletPimpernel, 2/27/2013 3:47:59 PM     (No. 9199481)

Oh, and here is a lovely tribute to van Cliburn, posted at YouTube today; there is a comment in Russian below the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_1y7s4BJKg

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