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August 28, 2012

Celebrated pianist Van Cliburn diagnosed with advanced bone cancer

Van Cliburn, the prodigiously gifted pianist whose victory at the 1958 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow gave Americans a welcome lift during the Cold War, has been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer.

Scott Cantrell reports in the Dallas Morning News that the 78-year-old Cliburn is "undergoing treatment and resting at his home in Fort Worth." The cancer diagnosis was made a little more than a week ago.

Cliburn remains an iconic figure in the piano world. Celebrated with a ticker-tape parade in New York after his Moscow victory, the pianist enjoyed an extraordinary level of fame and affection at the start of his career.

A couple of decades after that success, Cliburn cut back on performances and recordings. His primary concern since has been the international piano competition that bears his name in Fort Worth.

Posted by Tim Smith at 6:30 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes
        

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at baltimoresun.com/artsmash. This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
View the Artsmash blog
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