The collection Van Cliburn in Moscow takes us back to a series of concerts the pianist gave in the 1960s, just a few years after his victory at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition. The enthusiasm he garnered was unprecedented. Here he performs Beethoven and Tchaikovsky alongside the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Kirill Kondrashin.
Van Cliburn – Harvey Lavan Cliburn (1934–2013) – was the historic winner of the first edition of the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958. Just as the Cold War was reaching its peak, his playing transcended the ideological divide between the two sides, embodying the universality of music. This victory marked the beginning of an immense career. His newfound notoriety propulsed him onto the world's most prestigious stages concert after concert. He returned to perform numerous times in the USSR between 1960 and 1972.
Photo: Van Cliburn, Courtesy of the Van Cliburn Foundation
A documentary by Peter Rosen. Narrated by Dan Rather
BBC Television Studios, 1959-1960