School of music
Thinking Aloud
Nigel Cliff: Van Cliburn's 1958 Piano Triumph and its Effect on the Cold War
In 1958, the Texan pianist Van Cliburn went to Moscow and did the unthinkable: he won the first Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition even though Soviet authorities had chosen their own winners in advance. Van Cliburn's performances of Russian composers stunned the Russian judges, electrified the Russian audiences, and in the end he was simply to good not to award the gold medal to.  His triumph had important implications for him, Cold War relations, and the history of music itself, and British journalist Nigel Cliff will discuss those tonight with guest host (and Van Cliburn fan) Mark Burns.  â€”Original airdate: 11/17/2016

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