Notable deaths in the arts
The lanky Texan became a Cold War cultural symbol when he won the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, making him a beloved musical figure in the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Three decades later, the pianist performed for President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during a summit in 1987.
Van Cliburn was a Cold War cultural ambassador (Charles Gorry / Associated Press)
The versatile French director staged the landmark 1976 production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle at the Bayreuth Festival. He was also responsible for other such memorable opera productions, including his 2007 staging of Janacek’s “From the House of the Dead” that came to the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Patrice Chereau, 68, was a major operatic and theatrical force (Markus Schreiber / Associated Press)
The renowned British sculptor was widely recognized for helping to redefine sculpture in the 20th century, often working with steel and other industrial materials to create monumental installations that broke with past traditions. Heavily influenced by the works of British sculptor Henry Moore, Caro himself helped to influence a generation of sculptors.
Anthony Caro, renowned British sculptor, dies at 89 (Ben Stansall / AFP/Getty Images)
The British composer specialized in spiritual, religious-inspired music and drew a diverse fan base that included the Beatles and Prince Charles. His ambitious pieces featured orchestral and choir compositions that were haunting and emotional in nature. He took inspiration from medieval religious music but his pieces were unmistakably contemporary in style. Pictured: Tavener with Paul McCartney.
Renowned British composer John Tavener dies at age 69 (John Stillwell / Associated Press)
A familiar byline to readers of the left-leaning The Nation, Danto was an art critic whose ideas and opinions informed a generation of cultural thinkers. He brought a philosophical and intellectual bent to his profession and is perhaps best remembered for his often-misinterpreted declaration of the “end of art history.”
Arthur C. Danto dies at 89; art critic lauded Warhol (Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage)