Prufrock: Thomas Jefferson’s Library, America’s Early Atheists, and Van Cliburn in Russia
The following is an excerpt from Micah Mattix | September 20, 2016 | weeklystandard.com |
Terry Teachout on Van Cliburn in Russia: "Cliburn's talent was recognized early on when he won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1954. The panel of judges included Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Serkin, and George Szell, all of whom believed him to be a world-class talent in the making. But the concert scene was overcrowded with promising young pianists in the mid-'50s, and by 1958 Cliburn was desperate to jump-start his sputtering career. To that end, he entered the first Tchaikovsky Competition, even though it was assumed that the Soviet government would prevent any foreign pianist from winning the first prize. Indeed, the fix was in, for a Russian pianist had already been tapped by the Ministry of Culture to come out on top. But Cliburn's outgoing manner charmed the Russian people, who were closely following the competition on TV."
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