A tribute to local classical pianist Van Cliburn
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World famous classical pianist Van Cliburn passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the age of 78, after a battle with bone cancer. Cliburn was born Harvey Levan Cliburn, Jr., in 1934, and made his concert debut in 1947. He began an active career as a concert pianist in 1954. The young man from the small east Texas town of Kilgore was only 23 when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow just six months after the Soviets' launch of Sputnik and inaugurated the space race.
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