Playing at the second stop of an expected 17-concert tour of the United States with the Moscow Philharmonic, American pianist Van Cliburn will appear July 11 as the opening event of a week of cultural events at the Hollywood Bowl to coincide with the World Cup. The 59-year-old pianist, appearing relaxed and genial, came to the Bowl Wednesday to formally announce the event.
Vassily Sinaisky, music director of the Moscow Philharmonic since 1991, will conduct all concerts on the tour.
The Texas-born Cliburn, took a hiatus from playing from 1978 to 1987, and last played in Southern California 16 years ago. Here he will perform two piano concertos with which he has been long associated--Tchaikovsky’s No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s No. 3--with the Russian orchestra at all tour stops. These are the concertos with which Cliburn won the First International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, in 1958, and which he recorded with the Moscow orchestra soon after.
The program for the concerts will also include Cliburn playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” followed by his narrating Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait.”
The tour cities include San Diego (July 9), Dallas (July 15), Denver (July 23), Saratoga, N.Y. (July 29), Boston (July 31), New York City (Aug. 2), Detroit (Aug. 12) and Atlanta (Aug. 20). Other tour stops will be announced, the management said.
Coincidentally, Cliburn will note his 60th birthday, July 12, the day after his Bowl appearance. The Texan first played at the Hollywood Bowl in 1958, soon after winning the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The 1994 concert will be his 11th performance in Cahuenga Pass. In 1962, Cliburn founded an International Piano Competition in Fort Worth; in the 32 years since, that competition has become an important event in the world of piano playing.
Conductor Sinaisky was, at the time of Cliburn’s internationally publicized gold-medal win in 1958, assistant conductor to Kiril Kondrashin with the Moscow Philharmonic. The orchestra played at the finals of the Tchaikovsky Competition, and Kondrashin and the ensemble later made a number of recordings with the American pianist.
Founded in 1951, the Moscow Philharmonic has visited the United States regularly since then. It last appeared locally at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in April, 1992.