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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pianist Van Cliburn Has Passed Away

photo NY Times
no copyright infringement intended

Pianist Van Cliburn, the laureate of the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, died yesterday. His performance at the competition finale of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 earned him a standing ovation lasting eight minutes (wiki). His success at Moscow was a blessed moment of relaxation, of normality, in the long epoch of Cold War.

The image above shows him congratulated by Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader at the time. It is said that Mr. Khrushchev asked the pianist as he was hugging him, why are you so tall? Because I'm form Texas, was the answer (actually he had been born in Louisiana, by the way).

(Zoon Politikon)


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