Pianist a World Symbol, Too
Boston, Gabriella, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Byline: Gabriella Boston
****The Kennedy Center bestows its annual Honors this weekend on five artists for their lifetime achievement in the performing arts. c Receiving the awards tonight at a State Department dinner, with Secretary of State Colin Powell as the host, will be actress and singer Julie Andrews, pianist Van Cliburn, music producer and composer Quincy Jones, actor Jack Nicholson and tenor Luciano Pavarotti. The artists also will be honored at a gala tomorrow night at the Kennedy Center. c The 24th annual gala, a fund-raiser to support performing arts, educational, public service and outreach initiatives by the Kennedy Center, will air at 9 p.m. Dec. 26 on CBS, with Walter Cronkite as the host.****
Van Cliburn is a romantic pianist known for his unwavering slow notes, relatively small repertoire and, most important, beating the Russians - at least musically - when the United States most needed a hero in the 1950s.
"Americans were paranoid about communism [in the 1950s]," says Howard Reich, a music critic for the Chicago Tribune and a biographer of Mr. Cliburn. "We were so hungry for something that showed us that we weren't losing. And along comes Van Cliburn and becomes this international symbol."
Mr. Cliburn, who is among this year's Kennedy Center Honorees, is perhaps best known for his …
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Publication information: Article title: Pianist a World Symbol, Too. Contributors: Boston, Gabriella - Author. Newspaper title: The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Publication date: December 1, 2001. Page number: 1. © 2009 The Washington Times LLC. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.
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