Arts, Culture & Media

Remembering Classical Music Luminary Van Cliburn

Van-Cliburn-e1362003991611.jpg

Pianist Van Cliburn speaks before the presentation of the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 18, 2008. Formmer Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev is the 2008 recipient of the award that recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and vision in the pursuit of liberty of conscience or freedom from oppression, ignorance, or deprivation. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES) - RTR221KP

Credit:

REUTERS

We learned Wednesday of the death of a luminary in the world of classical music.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

American pianist Van Cliburn.

He was 78, and died in his home state of Texas.

He gained renown after winning the prestigious Tchaikovsky piano competition in Moscow in 1958.

When he went there, the Cold War was raging.

But with his triumph at the competition, Van Cliburn helped bring about a brief thaw in US-Soviet relations.

Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Vladimir Frumkin, a musicologist and journalist based in Washington, DC, who writes about Russian classical and popular music.