One of the greatest musicians of our time, and featured on one of my all-time favorite recordings, Van Cliburn demonstrated some of the finest qualities to which a person can aspire. Some of my earliest memories include listening to recordings of Van Cliburn performing as he did all over the world, and it seems I have loved to listen to his musical performances my whole life.
As a young lad, I was exposed to a variety of musical influences, but in our home, Van Cliburn was admired in particular by my parents, who made sure we were given plenty of opportunities to listen to him play, since they loved to listen as well. My older sister started taking piano lessons at a very young age, and Van Cliburn was held as a role model for being a virtuoso, and an inspiration to all young people who aspired to learn the piano.
The Washington Times article By Angela K. Brown – Associated Press said this:
Mr. Cliburn played for every U.S. president since Harry Truman, plus royalty and heads of state worldwide.
Mr. Cliburn also used his skill and fame to help other young musicians through the Van Cliburn International Music Competition, held every four years. Created in 1962 by a group of Fort Worth teachers and citizens, it remains among the top showcases for the world’s best pianists.
Despite his phenomenal success over five decades, Mr. Cliburn remained humble and gracious, friends said.
Throughout his life, Van Cliburn represented what is best about our humanity–with great talent and determined effort–he gave us all a gift of love and beauty and grace that is everywhere in our world, but so rarely contained within one soul so willing to share it.
On the website : http://www.cliburn.org/
“It is with great sadness that we announce that our dear friend and inspiration Van Cliburn died peacefully in his home in Fort Worth, Texas, surrounded by loved ones, on February 27, 2013.”
Godspeed, Mr. Cliburn…..