11 Images

Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn plays in Minneapolis in 1977. He kept up a frenetic schedule of more than 100 concerts a year for two decades, until retiring from the performance circuit in 1978. In the mid-1990s he embarked on a long-anticipated comeback tour that drew poor reviews. (Jim Mone / Associated Press)
International Tchaikovsky Competition
Texas pianist Van Cliburn performs in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow in April 1958 in front of a picture of Russian composer Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won. (Van Cliburn Foundation / Associated Press)
Accepting flowers
Van Cliburn accepts flowers from the audience in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory after one of his performances in April 1958 during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition. The technically brilliant Cliburn created a sensation with the romantic sweep of his playing. (Van Cliburn Foundation / Associated Press)
Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, right, embraces Texas pianist Van Cliburn in Moscow after Cliburn won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition.  (Van Cliburn Foundation / Associated Press)
Atlantic City
Van Cliburn performs for the American Assn. of School Administrators at the Convention Hall in Atlantic, City, N.J., in 1959. The pianist died Feb. 27, 2013, after a battle with bone cancer. He was 78. (Associated Press)
Van Cliburn performs in Moscow in 1958 during the final round of the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won. His triumph helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock-star status. (Associated Press)
Boston Symphony
The Boston Symphony Orchestra plays “Happy Birthday” for pianist Van Cliburn on his 69th birthday at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass.  (Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)
Memorial concert
Van Cliburn performs at a concert dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Beslan school massacre in Moscow.  (Sergey Ponomarev / Associated Press)
Arlington, Texas
Van Cliburn plays “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the start of a concert series promoting the Super Bowl in Arlington, Texas. (Paul Moseley / Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
White House
Van Cliburn is awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.  (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)
Fort Worth
The legendary pianist Van Cliburn at his home in Fort Worth.  (Ross Hailey / Fort Worth Star-Telegram)