Van Cliburn

Pianist

Van Cliburn was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States on July 12th, 1934 and is the Pianist. At the age of 78, Van Cliburn biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

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Date of Birth
July 12, 1934
Nationality
United States
Place of Birth
Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Death Date
Feb 27, 2013 (age 78)
Zodiac Sign
Cancer
Profession
Musician, Pianist
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Van Cliburn Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 78 years old, Van Cliburn physical status not available right now. We will update Van Cliburn's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.

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Van Cliburn Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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Van Cliburn Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
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Van Cliburn Career

The first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 was an event designed to demonstrate Soviet cultural superiority during the Cold War, after the USSR's technological victory with the Sputnik launch in October 1957. Cliburn's performance at the competition finale of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 on April 13 earned him a standing ovation lasting eight minutes. After the ovation, Van Cliburn made a brief speech in Russian and then resumed his seat at the piano and began to play—to the surprise and delight of the Russian musicians visible behind him in the film made of his part in the competition—his own piano arrangement of the much-beloved song "Moscow Nights," which further endeared him to the Russians. When it was time to announce the winner, the judges felt obliged to ask permission of the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to give the first prize to an American. "Is he the best?" Khrushchev asked. "Yes." "Then give him the prize!" Cliburn was to maintain a lasting relationship with the Soviet leader. Cliburn returned home to a ticker-tape parade in New York City, the only time the honor has been accorded a classical musician. Arriving at City Hall after the parade, Cliburn told the audience:

A cover story in Time magazine proclaimed him "The Texan Who Conquered Russia". His triumph in Moscow propelled Cliburn to international prominence.

Upon returning to the United States, Cliburn appeared in a Carnegie Hall concert with the Symphony of the Air, conducted by Kirill Kondrashin, who had led the Moscow Philharmonic in the prize-winning performances in Moscow. The performance of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto at this concert was subsequently released by RCA Victor on LP. Cliburn was also invited by Steve Allen to play a solo during Allen's prime time NBC television series on May 25, 1958. He later went to the White House to meet with President Eisenhower to discuss relations with the USSR.

RCA Victor signed him to an exclusive contract, and his subsequent recording of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 won the 1958 Grammy Award for Best Classical Performance. It was certified a gold record in 1961, and it became the first classical album to go platinum, achieving that certification in 1989. It was the best-selling classical album in the world for more than a decade. It eventually went triple-platinum. In 2004, this recording was re-mastered from the original studio analogue tapes, and released on a Super Audio CD.

Other standard repertoire Cliburn recorded include the Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor, Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 and No. 5 "Emperor", and the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3.

In 1958, during a dinner hosted by the National Guild of Piano Teachers, President and Founder Dr. Irl Allison announced a cash prize of $10,000 to be used for a piano competition named in Cliburn's honor. Under the leadership of Grace Ward Lankford and with the dedicated efforts of local music teachers and volunteers, the First Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was held from September 24 to October 7, 1962, at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Until his death, Cliburn continued to serve as Director Emeritus for the Van Cliburn Foundation, as host of the quadrennial competition and host of other programs honoring his legacy.

In 1961, he first performed at the Interlochen Center for the Arts during its summer camp. He went on to do so for eighteen more years, his last visit to the school being in 2006.

Cliburn returned to the Soviet Union on several occasions. His performances there were usually recorded and even televised. In a 1962 Moscow appearance, Nikita Khrushchev, who met Cliburn again on this visit, and Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Foreign Minister, were "spotted in the audience applauding enthusiastically". According to The Wall Street Journal, "Mr. Cliburn's affection for the Soviet people—and theirs for him—was notable in its warmth during a prolonged period of superpower strain." A 1972 concert performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with Kondrashin and the Moscow orchestra, as well as a studio recording of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, were later issued on CD by RCA Victor.

On May 26, 1972, Cliburn gave a concert at Spaso House, the residence of the United States Ambassador to Russia, for an audience that included President Richard Nixon, Secretary of State William P. Rogers, and Soviet government officials.

Cliburn performed and recorded through the 1970s, but in 1978, after the deaths of his father and of his manager, Sol Hurok, he began a hiatus from public life. In 1987, he was invited to perform at the White House for President Ronald Reagan and Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and afterward was invited to open the 100th anniversary season of Carnegie Hall. He embarked on a 16-city tour in 1994, commencing with a performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto at the Hollywood Bowl. Also in 1994, Cliburn made a guest appearance in the cartoon Iron Man, playing himself in the episode "Silence My Companion, Death My Destination". In his late seventies, he gave a limited number of performances to critical and popular acclaim. Cliburn appeared as a Pennington Great Performers series artist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra in 2006. In 2006 he performed at Interlochen Center for the Arts, spending two hours talking to the students afterwards and signing their programs while many waited at a reception at the school's president's house.

He played for royalty and heads of state from dozens of countries and for every U.S. president from 1958 until his death.

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