Van Cliburn

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cliburn, Van


(full name Harvey Lavan Cliburn, Jr.). Born July 12, 1934, in Shreveport, La. American pianist.

In 1954, Cliburn graduated from the Juilliard School of Music, where he had been a student of R. Lhevinne. He won first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958. Cliburn’s success in Moscow brought him world renown. His several concert tours in the USSR were triumphant. Cliburn’s playing is noted for spontaneity, straightforwardness, lyricism, exultant sound, and impetuous dynamism. The most interesting pieces in his repertoire are Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1, and Liszt’s Rhapsody No. 12. He also plays sonatas of Beethoven, Prokofiev, Liszt, and S. Barber, as well as the early compositions of A. N. Scriabin.


Chasins, A., and V. Stiles. Legenda o Vene Klaiberne. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from English.)
Khentova, S. Van Klaibern, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1966.
Kogan, G. “Slushaia Klaiberna.” Voprosy pianizma. Moscow, 1968.
Kogan, G. “Tri pianista.” Voprosy pianizma. Moscow, 1968.
Rabinovich, D. “Ven Klaibern—Van Klibern.” Muzykal’naia zhizn’ 1972, no. 18.
Sokol’skii, M. “Van Klibern i russkaia muzyka.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1972, no. 10.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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A native of California, Nakamatsu came to international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981.
The documentary is about the 2013 Cliburn International Piano Competition, named for the late Van Cliburn. The Cliburn is one of the foremost musical competitions in the world.
It's an easy call--just check out the musical archives of Van Cliburn, who became synonymous with the saber-rattling U.S.-Soviet Union standoff when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958.
From world-renowned photographer Bruce Weber, who Rosen met at his first job when they were both "unknowns," to Van Cliburn, who generously encouraged Rosen's musical efforts, to the five Fendi sisters, who taught him the very essence of patience and perfection in executing a fragrance launch extraordinaire, there's a story to entice everyone.