Faith, Love, and Vision of Better World Carried Van Cliburn to Fame

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Faith, Love, and Vision of Better World Carried Van Cliburn to Fame - OVER NIGHT SUCCESS Faith, Love and Vision of...
OVER NIGHT SUCCESS Faith, Love and Vision of Better World Corned Van Cliburn to fty W. O AuecUtod Pratt Arts IdHor NEW YORK (AP) -- "Faith ta God, love for people, and vision of a better world"--this is not the credo of a preacher but a piano player who exactly a year ago was catapulted over night Into fame. One* in a while a singer comes out of a church choir; actress Ethel Waters enthusiastically proclaims her belief; Jenny Lind was notably devout. Here is one more musician who, instead of hailing from Bohemia, comes from Baptist Sunday School and prayer meeting, and persists in his double allegiance to pulpit and concert platform, church and music hall. When it came to-writing a book about him, "The Van Cliburn Legend," it seemed natural that two authors were needed to cover th* subject's two bright facets, and the work is described on the title page as "By Abram Chasins with Villa Stiles." Chasins is the musician. Miss Stiles the inspirational writer. HUGGED BY KHRUSHCHEV On April 13, 1958, Van Cliburn won the first piano prize of the Tchakovsky competition in Moscow, where he was hugged and bussed on both cheeks by Nikita Khrushchev. It could be that without the prayers of the church goers of Kilgore, Tex., young Cliburn would never have been kissed by the Communist boss of atheist Russia: As he got ready for the severe ordeal of appearing before the judges, says Chasins--unless this is Miss Stiles speaking--"He did not neglect to telephone his parents in Kilgore to notify them of the time he would be playing and to elicit then- spiritual support. They, in turn, elicited the support of the local ministers, and 'later I learned (says Cliburn) that the ministers had asked the whole town to pray for me. My parents did not pray for me to win, because winning in their minds is not always the best thing. They prayed that God's will be done.'" "GOD'S LANGUAGE" "Music is God's language," Cliburn believes and often says. One photo in the book shows him with hands clasped in prayer just before he did his first Carnegie Hall concert after the Moscow triumph. He had a private box in Madison Square Garden for evangelist Billy Graham's rally. What with the prayers, the ticker tape and the incredible adulation-of which this book contains an apparently complete and detailed record--the boy makes one of the really extraordinary stories in the art PIANIST VAN CLIBURN w o man of deep religious faith. "Music is God's language" says the 24-year-old Texan, shown here during a, practice cession. life of our time. Though you may have heard him In a concert, and seen him, you need this biography to give an adequate idea of the intensity of the storm and furor he has kicked up, in all innocence, wherever he has appeared in the last 12 months. Before he went to Moscow, he got $100 or less for a concert; since Moscow, he has on one occasion in California collected $18,000 for two nights, and in his native Texas, $10,500 for a one-day affair. Once he got $75 on a TV show; now the same show paid him $3,000. His single recording of the Tchaikovsky may sell one millions discs this year. CRITICAL OBJECTIONS Chasins points, fairly, to some critical objections raised, in particular lately, to some of Cliburn's playing, but mostly he sticks to the almost incredible success story. The boy was born July 12, 1934, and named Harvey Lavan Cliburn Jr., for his businessman father. His mother, Rildia Bee O'Bryan, taught piano, and the boy decided when he was J or 4 that if she teach his playmates ihe could him. He fell early into the habit of winning prizes both in home town and in Texas. In 1951 he entered juilliard, in New York. Wherever he goes he is spotted, and followed. Girls want to sit the restaurant table where he old men bless him for what he done for America, cab drivers their horns, and policemen crack him on the back. He stays up hours, keeps a schedule that kill an ordinary man, and doesn't even have time to buy himself clothes--he played one Carnegie Hall concert with the sol* of shoe flapping so loose be fastened it with a rubber band. Chasins remarks that, though Washington has been coldly formal about Cliburn's success, local governments have shown the wildest enthusiasm. He suggests it's we gave more recognition to the valuable Mrvic* performed for us at home culturally and abroad culturally and politically by a of Cliburn's magnetic appeal

Clipped from
  1. The Ogden Standard-Examiner,
  2. 09 Aug 1959, Sun,
  3. Page 36

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  • Faith, Love, and Vision of Better World Carried Van Cliburn to Fame

    bmortenson – 01 Mar 2013

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