Thursday, February 28, 2013

Van Cliburn was a great pianist

We heard on Wednesday that Van Cliburn passed away in Ft. Worth.  What else can you say about this amazing pianist?

I found this very interesting about his parents:

"He was born in Shreveport on July 12, 1934, to Harvey Lavan Cliburn, an oil company executive, and Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn, herself a classical pianist with an impeccable pedigree. The daughter of a lawyer and former mayor of the small Texas town of McGregor, Mr. Cliburn's mother had gone away to study piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory, and then to New York. Her teacher there was Arthur Friedheim, who had been a pupil of piano legend Franz Liszt.
Rildia Bee Cliburn's piano career would consist mostly of teaching, and her most prominent pupil was her talented and precocious son. In the recent interview, Mr. Cliburn remembered his mother as a very demanding instructor.
"I was about 9 or 10 and she was taking me through the Transcendental Etudes of Liszt," Mr. Cliburn said. "She said, 'Oh, no, dear.' I said, 'I can't play this because I don't have perfect hands like you.'"
His voice became stern as he remembered his mother's reply.
"No one has perfect hands!" she said. "Everyone has problems. Your responsibility is to solve your problems.""

Mr Cliburn played for presidents and world leaders.  He was also a fixture in our area and the kind of man who influenced so many.

This is a great video of Van Cliburn & Pres Reagan:


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