Pianist won prestigious Moscow competition at the height of US and Russia tensions
The American pianist Van Cliburn has died aged 78.
Van Cliburn’s peak came in the 1950’s, when he briefly became a hugely notable figure in the ongoing cold war between the USA and Russia, after the American crossed over to Moscow and won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition at the age of just 23. The success at that competition was heightened given the political climate at the time, and Van Cliburn found that he was a huge star upon returning home from the competition. A recording of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 was subsequently released by RCA Victor and made platinum in the US, the first classical album to achieve such sales.
"That Van Cliburn won the first ever Tchaikovsky Prize in Moscow in 1958, the middle of the Cold War, is testimony to his prodigious gifts," said BBC Radio 3 presenter Michael Berkely. "Trained in the great Romantic repertoire he brought to Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky great emotional power." Van Cliburn’s fame and respect saw him perform to every US President from Harry Truman onwards, culminating in President Obama awarding him with the National Medal of Arts in 2010. Van Cliburn received the award for his contribution as "one of the greatest pianists in the history of music,” with the President adding "Mr Cliburn has reached across political frontiers with the universal message of beautiful music.” Van Cliburn was diagnosed with cancer last August.
As the days get progressively colder and shorter November ushers in celebrations of light, gunpowder and treason as well as bringing with it some...
Having recently released their latest single, 'Future Angel', Robin And The Goblins creative force Robin Romo is now looking forward to playing their...
If all things were equal then Ed Sheeran may have made the cut for our final five favourite new album releases of October, but they're not, and he...
We didn't expect these rockers to be so into the Swedish pop group.
Is there anyone worth mentioning that Dave hasn't worked with?
These deliciously witchy tunes are perfect for Halloween.
From Psycho Killer to the Monster Mash, these Halloween songs are classics.