Van Cliburn

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When did Van Cliburn win the Tchaikovsky competition?

The pianist smiling in triumph on stage at the end of the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow was probably not the one the organisers had wanted. An event set up to showcase young Soviet pianists as ‘the best in the world’ and backed to the hilt by leader Nikita Khrushchev’s government would surely award its first prize to home-grown talent? And yet here on 13 April 1958, enjoying the acclaim of jury and audience alike, was Van Cliburn. From Texas, US, of all places.
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