By Pablo A. Tariman, VERA Files
The sad news in the music world is that pianist Van Cliburn-- the first American pianist to win the First Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 -- was diagnosed with advanced bone cancer.
Last week, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas reported the 78-year-old pianist appeared briefly in the concert of the Fort Worth Symphony for the 50th anniversary of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Cliburn was a familiar figure in Philippine cultural scene during Martial Law with Imelda Marcos as the patroness of arts. Cliburn's name appears several times in the guest book of the Coconut Palace, where Mrs. Marcos celebrity guests used to stay. (Vice President Jejomar Binay currently holds office there.)
When Imelda was hospitalized after an assassin tried to kill her with a bolo during a speaking engagement in 1972, one of the visitors was Cliburn.
The friendship between the former First Lady and the American pianist bloomed to such heights theRead More »from Van Cliburn of Imelda’s splendorous days