The start of the Van Cliburn Memorial Broadcast. Pianist Van Cliburn passed away yesterday (Wednesday, February 27th) but his spirit lives on, especially in recorded sound. The show started with Tchaikovsky's First Concerto, recorded in 1958, the year Cliburn won the First International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition playing the same piece. At the competition he also played Rachmaninov's Third Concerto, which we listened to this morning.
Toady, we honor the legendary life and performances of the now late Van Cliburn. The title of legendary is no more fitting for a man from a small town in Texas, who boarded a plane to Moscow in 1958 at the height of a war that was indeed cold and returned victorious as our American Hero, not only outperforming the competition in Moscow but giving the Soviets a thrashing they would soon not forget.