Van Cliburn - Famous American Pianist Dead at 78

Van Cliburn - Famous American Pianist Dead at 78

February 27, 2013 - Famed pianist, Van Cliburn, died this morning at his home near Fort Worth, Texas. He was 78.

As the first American pianist to win the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, Mr. Cliburn enjoyed perhaps the most acclaim of any American musician. During the height of the Cold War, Van Cliburn's spectacular triumph in 1958 was heralded in New York City with a ticker-tape parade, and his resulting concerts were sold-out for years.  He made countless recordings under the RCA label.

Van Cliburn's fame helped inspire a generation of young pianists and attracted new audiences to classical music. Many families listened to his recordings around their living-room consoles.  Moreover, his foundation initiated the Van Cliburn competition in 1962 which has launched the careers of many talented pianists.

For more on Van Cliburn's life, see Scott Cantrell's tribute in the Dallas News: