November 27, 1987 |
Van Cliburn will end almost a decade of not performing in public when he plays for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev Dec. 8 at a White House state dinner given by President Reagan. The pianist, who zoomed to fame when he won a 1958 Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, would not say whether the event signaled his return to the concert stage. "Let's wait and see how it goes," he said from his Fort Worth, Texas, home. "All I can tell you now is that I'm ready and will do my best. " About his absence from the public eye, Cliburn, 53, said: "These have not been years of reflection.
June 25, 1989 |
Musicians doubtful about the reception awaiting them after a prolonged absence from the concert stage have in the past put great stock in Philadelphia. Van Cliburn is the latest to use the city as a test. The 54-year-old pianist had not played a real concert since 1978. When he performed Monday night with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center, he was quick to disclaim any suggestion that his concert constituted a return at all. He had designed a setting guaranteed to lower the pressure of his appearance onstage.
February 28, 2013 |
Van Cliburn, 78, the intrepid pianist whose 1958 win at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow was seized upon as a stroke of American triumphalism at the height of the Cold War, died Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He died of bone cancer, his publicist said. Striking Soviet gold transformed Mr. Cliburn from pianist into pop-culture phenomenon. Inevitably described as a "lanky Texan," whose 6 feet, 4 inches were topped by a wavy, flaxen pompadour, he was welcomed home with a ticker-tape parade down lower Broadway that was compared to the one in 1927 for Charles A. Lindbergh.
May 24, 1989 |
Van Cliburn's return to the concert stage after 11 years represents a major coup for the Mann Music Center and is expected to be a rousing prelude to the 19-concert, six-week Philadelphia Orchestra season at the Mann, the area's blockbuster summer classical music attraction. Cliburn, the pianist who has spent much of the last dozen years in Texas directing an international competition bearing his name, will appear at a benefit for the Mann endowment fund. Tickets range from $20 to $125.
June 6, 2005 |
A 22-year-old Curtis Institute of Music-trained pianist placed as a finalist last night in the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. Chu-Fang Huang, a South Philadelphian born in China who graduated from Curtis last year, swept aside 146 other pianists invited to audition, 34 other competitors, and 11 other semifinalists. Russian Alexander Kobrin, 25, won the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal and a cash award of $20,000. As a finalist, Huang, who lives near 10th and Ellsworth Streets, will receive $10,000 and U.S. concert tours and career management for three years.
July 11, 2002 |
PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA at Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue. 8 tonight. Tickets: $10-$68. Info: 215-893-1999. Conductor Carlos Kalmar finishes up his Mann week with two revered works from the center of the repertory. He's chosen the Symphony No. 2 by Jan Sibelius, the most familiar of seven by a composer with close ties to this orchestra. Its Finnish heart, full of long-spun melodies that erupt like flowers through wintry ice, and a triumphant finale, has made this symphony an audience favorite for a century.
September 13, 2005 |
Stacked with blue-chip names for its 40th-anniversary run at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra's concerts this summer drew 39,370 listeners - 26 percent more than last year. "We had a great season overall, but it was a particularly good season with the orchestra," said Marcia J. White, the New York center's president and executive director. "I think our artists and performances were spectacular, our audiences were terrific, and the reviews outstanding.
June 16, 1998 |
When pianist Van Cliburn triumphed in Moscow 40 years ago this summer, he brought home a new awareness of American musical prowess and national pride. His audiences have lived with that event ever since, winning from his increasingly rare performances a reminder of an heroic time and a feeling of justified pride. Cliburn returned last night to play with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the opening of the season at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, recreating scenes that have become part of the history of this city's summer music.
June 20, 1989 |
Van Cliburn returned to the concert stage last night at the Mann Music Center, and it sounded just like old times. The 54-year-old pianist was ending a respite from public performance that had lasted nearly a dozen years. For many in the audience, his appearance was the embodiment of legend, of reality supplanting imagined qualities. His much-heralded return was arranged as a benefit for the orchestra's summer season at the theater. Cliburn, in a preface to his performance, called it "a night of remembrance," and said his performance was dictated by his admiration for the late conductor Eugene Ormandy and for Fredric R. Mann, head of the orchestra's summer concerts for four decades until his death in 1986.
March 25, 2015 |
Though choice of soloists is often an important component of Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia's sense of alternative symphonic experiences, previously unknown guest conducting talents can feel like an even more welcoming ambush. Sunday's headliner at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater ostensibly was Sean Chen, a young pianist who has placed well in competitions (the Van Cliburn, for one) and is a nominee for a 2015 Leonore Annenberg arts fellowship award at Penn. But the concert started with Haydn's little-known overture to the opera Armida , conducted by the lesser-known Nir Kabaretti with a solidity not heard consistently since Ignat Solzhenitsyn's departure and, more than that, a distinctive, glistening personality.