Van Cliburn, the tall and distinguished Texas native who became the most accomplished pianist of the latter part of the 20th century, died this past Wednesday morning at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 78 years of age. Mr. Cliburn's publicist recently revealed just this past fall of Aug. 27, 2012 that he had been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer.
Cliburn quickly rose to international fame at the early age of 23, winning the first Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, Russia during the height of the Cold War in May of 1958. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine and received a hero's welcome in the U.S. upon his triumphant return, including a ticker-tape parade celebration through the streets of New York City. During the 1960's and 1970's, he became one of the most highly sought-after piano soloists and recording artists of his generation. His subsequent early classical piano recordings were to become huge best sellers. His recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 became the first classical piano album to sell a million copies. He also performed for royalty and heads of state from dozens of various countries, and for every U. S. President from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama.
Aside from his masterful technique and legendary virtuosity behind the piano keys, however, was his influence behind the scene. An appreciative group of Fort Worth, Texas music teachers and volunteers founded The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, with Van taking the helm as artistic adviser in 1962. The prestige of this quadrennial competitive gathering of great young musicians has grown substantially over the years and now rivals that of the Tchaikovsky Competition. Van's last public appearance was at Bass Performance Hall, on Sept. 7, 2012, during the Fort Worth Symphony's 50th anniversary celebration of The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
The music world has lost an unprecedented and irreplaceable icon from the golden age of classical concert pianists. Things will never be quite the same again without him. Van Cliburn will be dearly missed by so many of his adoring fans. May his memory and generous spirit forever live on in the hearts and minds of us all.
Below is a memorable look back at the accomplishments of this magnificently gifted classical concert pianist, Mr. Van Cliburn. Video is provided by Clif Bosler / Star-Telegram.
Greetings to Everyone and A Big Welcome to Infinity Music Studio! My name is Suzanne Brittania. I have been teaching piano and voice lessons for over 40 plus years. It is my hope that you will find all the following information, along with the music videos listed within my blog, to be very interesting, helpful and inspiring all throughout your own musical journey.
The videos listed below are of famous opera stars (that I performed with extensively all throughout my earlier musical career) especially during the 1950's and 60's.
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