Confessions of a researchaholic

February 28, 2013

Van Cliburn, Cold War Musical Envoy, Dies at 78

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:24 pm

From Donald Mitchell:

“Fifty-five years ago, one of the first Americans to go to Russia in decades showed up to play one of the most notoriously difficult piano pieces ever composed, at the first Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow. The competition had been created to show Soviet cultural superiority. The 6’4” handsome & humble Texan nailed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Even judges stood during the 8-minute standing ovation following the (and there were other competitors to follow). Cliburn went on to win the competition.”

Van Cliburn died yesterday. Here is the full video of the 1958 concert.

Also see this this nytimes piece.

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