Cliburn, Van

Cliburn, Van (Harvey Lavan Cliburn) klī´bərn [key], 1934–2013, American pianist, b. Shreveport, La. Until 1951, Cliburn studied with his mother, a concert pianist; he later was a pupil of Rosina Lhévinne at Juilliard. In 1958 Cliburn won the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, and immediately became a cultural sensation and a cold war hero. His warm tone, superb technique, and sensitive interpretations were especially well-suited to Romantic music. In 1962 a group of his admirers created the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Tex.

See biographies by H. Reich (1993) and N. Cliff (2016); study by J. Horowitz (1990).

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