DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Pianist Van Cliburn loses battle with bone cancer, dies at age 78

By John Terauds on February 27, 2013

Van Cliburn Foundation, Texas pianist Van Cliburn performs to a packed audience in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, Russia, in April 1958 during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won.
The 23-year-old Texas pianist Van Cliburn performs to a packed audience in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in April 1958 during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won (Van Cliburn Foundation photo).

American pianist Van Cliburn, who was diagnosed with bone cancer last August, died this morning at his home in Fort Worth, Tex. He was 78.

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.

Thanks to winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow — an American on Cold War enemy soil — Cliburn became a huge star in his 20s, much in the way that Lang Lang is today.

He leaves behind an immense legacy, including the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, considered to be one of the world’s finest. He was also one of the rare Americans to continue to reach behind the old Iron Curtain and perform in the former Soviet Union.

Anthony Tommasini has written an excellent, detailed obituary for The New York Times here.

Here is Cliburn playing Franz Liszt’s B minor Sonata at the Moscow Conservatory in 1960:

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

THE SCOOP | Soundstreams Taps Rising Voice In Toronto Arts Scene As Executive Director

By Michael Vincent on December 30, 2019

After the departure of Soundstreams' former Executive Director, Ben Dietschi last November, Soundstreams names Menon Dwarka as Executive Director.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

THE SCOOP | Canadian Stage Cuts Deficit In Half And Forges Ahead With Ambitious Multi-Year Plan

By Anya Wassenberg on January 8, 2020

Canadian Stage recently released their annual report on the 2018/2019 season, with the venerable stage company announcing that their deficit had been cut in half.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

SCRUTINY | Lucas Debargue Dazzles Sold-Out Audience In His Canadian Recital Debut

By Stephan Bonfield on January 18, 2020

French pianist Lucas Debargue thrilled the Koerner Hall audience with his unique interpretations and intriguing musical personality.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.