Cliburn’s triumph at a Moscow competition helped him become the most famous classical pianist in American history in 1958.
April 1958 Van Cliburn performs in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won. Van Cliburn, the tall, gangly, curly-haired Texan who became the most famous classical pianist in American history over a single extraordinary week in 1958, died Feb. 27 at his home in Fort Worth. He was 78. AP Buy Photo