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Van Cliburn makes surprise concert appearance

The much loved pianist, who has announced that he is dying of bone cancer, came out on stage in Fort Worth on Thursday for what many assumed to be his farewell. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the piano competition he founded, and it was touch and go until the last moment whether he would be able to appear without attachment to an oxygen feed. In the event, he managed the appearance with grace and austere dignity.

Read and watch here.

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  1. I posted this on the clip itself: His talent is outshone only by his grace. Many prayers and good wishes go out to him.

  2. harold braun says:

    A true hero! God bless him!

  3. I’m glad he was able to make an appearance. Yes, grace and dignity are perfect words.

  4. Romuald Sztern says:

    At his best Van Cliburn seemed not so much to be playing as channeling ,asit were the work at hand . His performances as I have heard them on records or films were totally devoid of egomania . Instead one got impeccable pianism with that unique unforce singing tone and an sense of the whole that only comes with an physical control of tension that allows the pianist to rise above the fray in heated moments. Aristicratic restrain together with a warmth of feeling made Van Cliburn one of the greatest exponents of Russian music. I write in past tense because his career seems to have reached a final stage . I really envy those people that got to hear hinm live . For anyone cherishing true musical art Van Cliburn was and remains an inspiration to continue the search for artistic truth.

  5. I was eleven years old when Van Cliburn first enchanted me, having heard of him through his stirring win in Russia. As a piano student I was so thrilled and inspired by his playing. Like so many others, I was encouraged to study and practice by hearing the beauty of his playing. He is a genius, truly beloved, and he lives the universality of music. His genius united peoples’ hearts and reminded the world that we have so much in common, during such a difficult time. I am devastated to hear of his illness. I had so hoped that he would live a very long life and be playing for many years to come. What a gracious and magnificent artist he is. I’m fortunate to have heard him. There are very many pianists that I admire, but Van Cliburn is special.

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