Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn; Mother, Teacher of Pianist Van Cliburn
Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn, 97, the mother and early piano teacher of virtuoso pianist Van Cliburn. Her stroke last week caused Van Cliburn to interrupt his first concert tour in 16 years, which began in Los Angeles on July 11. He performed a scheduled concert at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, then flew back to Texas on Tuesday night when his mother’s condition worsened. Mrs. Cliburn, an accomplished pianist, taught her son until he entered the Juilliard School in his late teens. She remained the one person closest to him and most influential throughout his life, living in his Ft. Worth mansion. She once described her special pupil as “so teachable, always so respectful and so quick to learn.” On Wednesday in Ft. Worth of a stroke.