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Van Cliburn Memorial Concert to mark anniversary of pianist’s death

Posted 5:57pm on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014

On the one-year anniversary of the death of legendary pianist Van Cliburn, the Fort Worth-based foundation that bears his name will honor his life and contributions to music with a public concert.

The Van Cliburn Memorial Concert will take place from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 — the date on which Cliburn died last year — in the new Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth.

The outdoor concert will feature performances by eight favorite Cliburn competition prize-winners: gold medalists José Feghali (1985), Simone Pedroni (1993) and Alex Kobrin (2005); silver medalists Antonio Pompa-Baldi (2001), Maxim Philippov (2001) and Yakov Kasman (1997); and award winners Alexey Koltakov (2001) and Steven Lin (2013).

Performance times and repertoire will be announced closer to the concert, Cliburn officials said.

“Van was a member of the Fort Worth community who belonged to the world,” said Carla Thompson, Cliburn chairman of the board, in a written statement. “The Cliburn board of directors is hosting this event to celebrate his incomparable life and indelible spirit, not only for those attending the concert in person, but for all of his admirers and friends around the globe.”

The event will be free and open to the public, and will be streamed live at http://www.cliburn.org and www.star-telegram.com.

Moscow remembrance

Halfway across the world, in Cliburn’s beloved Russia, he also will be honored with a concert featuring Cliburn competition gold medalists.

The Concert in Memory of Van Cliburn will take place Feb. 24 at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, according to the Conservatory’s website, and will feature three Cliburn competition gold medalists. The Russian National Orchestra, under conductor Mikhail Pletnev, will welcome 2013 winner Vadym Kholodenko, 2001 winner Stanislav Ioudenitch and 1973 winner Vladimir Viardo.

The program will include works by two Russian composers with whom Cliburn was closely associated — Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 3 and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini — as well as Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2, the website says.

It was in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory where, in 1958, a 23-year-old Cliburn triumphed at the first Tchaikovsky International Competition. He forever became known as “The Texan Who Conquered Russia.”

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