Van Cliburn Biography (Wikipedia)
Harvey Lavan "Van" Cliburn Jr. (July 12, 1934 – February 27, 2013) was an American pianist who, at the age of 23, achieved worldwide recognition when he won the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 (during the Cold War).
Cliburn's mother, a piano teacher and an accomplished pianist in her own right, discovered him playing at age three, mimicking one of her students and arranged for him to start taking lessons. Cliburn developed a rich, round tone and a singing-voice-like phrasing, having been taught from the start to sing each piece.
Cliburn toured domestically and overseas. He played for royalty, heads of state, and every US president from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama.
Van Cliburn Tracks