Read The Van Cliburn Story by Howard Reich Online

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When a lanky, unpretentious, incredibly gifted, twenty-three-year-old Texan took Moscow by musical storm in 1958, it launched a sensational career that began at the age of thirteen and was to span over four decades. At the height of the Cold War, this friendly, open-hearted pianist enchanted the hearts of Americans and Russians alike with his playing that was more about "pWhen a lanky, unpretentious, incredibly gifted, twenty-three-year-old Texan took Moscow by musical storm in 1958, it launched a sensational career that began at the age of thirteen and was to span over four decades. At the height of the Cold War, this friendly, open-hearted pianist enchanted the hearts of Americans and Russians alike with his playing that was more about "personal communications than exhibitionistic virtuosity." Winning the Soviet-sponsored Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition immediately thrust Van Cliburn into political as well as artistic pressures, attention, adulation, and scrutiny that might have sabotaged any young artist who lacked the confidence and conviction of Van Cliburn.In a meteoric career that made Van Cliburn a cultural hero tantamount to the Beatles, the facts became stranger than the fiction that abounded about his career that "fizzled a year or two after the Tchaikovsky competition," or about the near loss of an arm, or about his eleven-year retreat into privacy beginning in the late '70s.The myth that surrounded the name Van Cliburn in the '50s and '60s became legend with his triumphant re-entry in 1987?an event that was to epitomize the poetic nature of Van's entire life. Responding to an invitation to perform for Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev at a state dinner, Van once again proved that music is indeed the universal language of understandng capable of uniting our diverse cultures. Bounding off the platform after his performance to kiss Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev, Van responded to Raisa's request for more music by playing the beloved Soviet song, "Moscow Nights"?the same nostalgic song he had learned and performed during his first incredible journey to Moscow in 1958.As millions of Americans watched on their television screens, the usual staid state dinner dissolved into a moving memory of Van singing along with the Gorbachevs as the whole room dissolved into tears. Russia and America joined hands and hearts in this one historical moment....

Title : The Van Cliburn Story
Author :
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ISBN : 9781595552280
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 460 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Van Cliburn Story Reviews

  • Leo
    2019-03-18 08:34

    "Every cab driver in town (both of them) suddenly was talking Beethoven and Brahms."This book answered every question I ever had about Van Cliburn. Specifically, it answered the question "Van who?"From what I can tell, Cliburn single handedly ended the cold war by winning a piano competition in moscow and playing Moscow Nights for Gorbachev. Russians subsequently fell in love with him and apologized to America so that he could come back and play for them again.This biography is definitely worth reading if you're a fan of Van Cliburn. It reads easily and is very informative. Strewn about is a healthy dose of amusing comments from famous conductors and fun snippets from newspaper articles.

  • Mary Mcqueen
    2019-03-09 09:46

    It was great to be taken back in time to 1958 when I was 12 years old and Van Cliburn about 23 and winning the First Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. I heard his name, but didn't understand the significance of his feat at all at the time.It has been a real revelation to read the power of his mother's musical background and to understand the great musical gifts she gave him through her genes and through her great teaching ability with her connection to Liszt. Amazing.

  • Annie
    2019-03-08 07:30

    I couldn't put this biography down. My only complaint is that I learned a lot about Cliburn the musician... and not much else. Oh, that and the occupational hazard of reading books about living people, written 2 decades ago.... it ends in the middle.

  • Alicia
    2019-03-04 07:47

    I'm an acknowledged music geek and Cliburn is one of my favorite pianists, so I enjoyed learning more about his life and story.