Very sad stuff, amazing man, pure legend.
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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:25 PM
Van Cliburn was probably the most famous Fort Worth resident ever. He is up there with a fine group of people who have lived in Fort Worth and made their mark on the world public including Alan Bean, Betty Buckley, Larry Hagman, Roger Miller, Jeana Yeager, and even Lee Harvey Oswald and Mark David Chapman. Cliburn will be remembered, however, not only for his achievements as an artist but as one of the founders of the competition that bears his name and as inspiration to countless other artists over many years. He seems to have been universally appreciated, in this country and abroad, especially in Russia. His amazing prize-winning performance in 1958 at the Tchaikovsky Competition was perhaps the first chip in the Cold War wall between East and West. He did reportedly have his foibles though: I have always heard that he would not attend a party no matter what the occasion unless he was assured he would be the only concert pianist present. Genius is allowed those sorts of privileges. Thanks Van.
Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:55 PM
Fort Worth is known as the city of culture and cowboys. Van Cliburn was the personification of Fort Worth's culture, IMO. His legacy in the music world transcended every geographic boundry as he made diplomatic, cultural, and music history during the height of the Cold War between the US. and the U.S.S.R.. Fort Worth has truly lost a legend without equal.
Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:15 AM
“Fort Worth, the home of America’s Pianist, Van Cliburn.”
Though Van Cliburn was not born in Fort Worth, Mr. Cliburn got here as fast as he could; and did not his presence hereafter change Fort Worth forever. Mr. Cliburn and Fort Worth have been joined as one ever since his arrival making our wonderful city his home and bringing with him his truly international royalty. He also is and will truly remain Ol’ South Pancake House royalty. Fort Worth thanks you Mr. Cliburn for coming its way.
There are very few things that can be as emotive as listening to the music he loved and the music springing from his hands. He commanded your attention with grace. This is truly a day of great sadness. May he now rest in peace under the bluest skies in Texas.
Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:08 AM
I had the chance to see him play with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra just by pure luck. I won a drawing at work for 2 free tickets to a concert at Bass Hall. The feature artist was a famous violinist (sorry, don't remember the name). I won the tickets on Thursday and on Friday it was announced that the violinist would be unable to play and Van Cliburn would be featured instead.
Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:26 PM
In 1964 a group of Argentine high school students spent two weeks living in the homes of Pashchal HS students. One Saturday night there was a bar bq given for the exchange students out at Aggie Pate's ranch where he kept all of his vintage cars, etc. I was a high school senior and hosting one of the exchange students. For reasons that are not at all clear, Van Cliburn showed up among the crowd (Perhaps he was a guest of Aggie Pate; I don't really know the circumstances). All of us were excited to be in the same room with this world famous person and crowded around to be introduced. He seemed so very tall and a little nervous too, which is strange when you consider how much adulation was being heaped upon him at the time. I was introduced and shook his hand. I guess I was overly enthusiastic and may have gripped his hand too tightly. I remember that he withdrew his hand very quickly and seemed to massage his fingers. He had a kind of annoyed look on his face. I slunk away feeling a bit embarassed. It was certainly not my intention to bruise those magical fingers of his, and, in retrospect, I guess shaking hands always had it's perils for a man who needed those hands to create his special brand of magic.
BTW, I love the idea that Van Cliburn may have been a regular at the Ol' South Pancake House, which I am guessing might be the case based on posts above. There is something so charming about that idea. He was a lovely man. So many people seem moved by his passing.
Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:36 PM
.....BTW, I love the idea that Van Cliburn may have been a regular at the Ol' South Pancake House, which I am guessing might be the case based on posts above. There is something so charming about that idea......
Mr. Cliburn's late night visits to the Ol' South Pancake House is reported in the Star-Telegram. I agree that it is a charming idea and adds a special feeling for OSPH, as if I did not already have one for the place; it has the Seinfeld Diner aura about it; but with the Cowtown atmosphere.
The very best comprehensive retrospection of his life can be found in the New York Times.
Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:35 PM
Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:39 AM
Cliburn's funeral posted on the Fort Worth Symphony website:
A fitting tribute. Worth watching all 125 minutes and 12 seconds. Interesting eulogies by interesting people. And the music. The music. The music. Must have been an amazing experience to be there in person.
(This will only be available through March 31.)
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