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.
Photo Credit: http://www.cliburn.org/1406.aspx
This week, February 20th-22nd, the very last location of The Van Cliburn Piano Competition Screening Auditions is going to be held in Fort Worth, Texas at the TCU Campus, in the Ed Landreth Auditorium located at:
2800 South University Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76109.
If you would like to have your first experience of the competition, then do not hesitate to attend. This great opportunity only comes around once every four years!
Auditions are free and open to the public.
Be sure to watch the videos below of the two first place winners from the 2009 Van Cliburn Piano Competition, Nobuyuki Tsuji, 20, from Japan and Haochen Zhang, 19, from China.
Happy 81st Birthday to American composer John Williams, (born on February 8, 1932 in Floral Park, New York) who has composed some of the most recognizable and familiar film scores in cinematic movie history.
John Williams grew up in Queens, New York. He was the son of a jazz percussionist (his father) in the CBS radio orchestra. He was exposed to music from an early age and began studying piano as a child. He later learned how to play the trumpet, trombone and clarinet. He started writing music at an early age also. He began composing and orchestrating his own musical pieces during his teenage years.
John Williams was classically trained in music. He studied at the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, where he received his degree in music. He mainly studied the piano with Rosina Lhévinne during his college years, but he would later go on to become a music composer rather than a performer for the duration of his life’s career. After he completed his studies, Williams moved to Los Angeles, California where he started working as a musical orchestrator at the television and movie filming studios.
Williams started composing music for television during the late 1950's. He eventually would go on to compose music scores for movies later in the 1960's. He won an Oscar for his orchestration of the music for 'Fiddler on the Roof' in 1972, the first of many big-time awards during his musical career. In 1974 he began a long and fruitful collaboration with Steven Spielberg that would culminate into some of his most popular and well-known works, including the Oscar-winning scores from 'Jaws' (1975), 'E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial' (1982) and 'Schindler's List' (1993). Some of his other memorable scores are from the 'Star Wars' films by George Lucas, and from Spielberg's 'Raiders of the Lost Ark '(1981).
Read more: John Williams Biography (Composer) — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Williams
Included below are several music videos of some of his most notable contributions that were made to the motion picture film industry.
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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