Van Cliburn: A Biography by Howard Reich, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Van Cliburn: A Biography

Van Cliburn: A Biography

by Howard Reich
     
 

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Outlining an impressive musical career that spans over four decades, this solidly researched biography allows readers to meet the man behind the music. Lovers of classical music will be intrigued by the behind-the-scenes look at the only complete biography of Van Cliburn, one of the world's most famous and loved classical pianists.

Overview

Outlining an impressive musical career that spans over four decades, this solidly researched biography allows readers to meet the man behind the music. Lovers of classical music will be intrigued by the behind-the-scenes look at the only complete biography of Van Cliburn, one of the world's most famous and loved classical pianists.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Numerous myths surround the pianist Van Cliburn, who, in 1958, at the age of 24, won the first Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. After this stunning victory (at the time, relations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were so tense that the jury needed Khrushchev's permission to award the prize to an American), the Texan became a major concert and recording artist. Then, in 1978, he stopped performing, apparently a victim of his own success. In this admirable bigoraphy, Reich, arts critic for the Chicago Tribune , disputes the claim advanced by skeptics that Cliburn's talent was overrated, his repertory limited and his artistry not taken seriously by the music estabishment. Telling much of the compelling story in the words of musicians, critics, friends and Cliburn himself, Reich shows why burnout, not failure, caused Cliburn to stop performing publicly until 1987, when he charmed Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev in a concert at the White House. Cliburn emerges as likable and unassuming, dedicated to helping other musicians and devoted to his mother, who was his first teacher and a major influence on his career. The most moving part of the book, however, is the account of Cliburn's love affair with the Russian people at the height of the Cold War. Photos not seen by PW. 75,000 first printing; $130,000 ad/promo. (May)
Library Journal
It has been 35 years since this native of Kilgore, Texas, rose to instant world prominence by winning the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. In an undisguised and unrelievedly adulatory biography, Reich gives a play-by-play description of all the events leading to the competition, as well as to the other triumphs in Cliburn's life. The clearest indication that this monograph is hardly impartial can be found in the foreword, where the author suggests that the 1991 Moscow uprising had its origins in Cliburn's victory at the Tchaikovsky Competition, when the citizens had a ``vicarious taste of Western-style freedom and openness.'' The writing is clear and breezy and presents an interesting behind-the-scenes view of music competitions. Still, the overall tone recommendes this book for exhaustive music collections only.-- Timothy J. McGee, Univ. of Toronto
Denise Perry Donavin
Reich, art critic for the "Chicago Tribune", writes with admiration of the famed American pianist who riveted Soviet and European audiences as the 19-year-old winner of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 1958. The author seeks to pull away the "layers of myth" that have surrounded Cliburn, who began lessons at age three with his talented mother. Misconceptions abound concerning the artist, particularly since he embarked on a 10-year sabbatical in 1974. Myths are dissolved and familiarity shared via Reich's reportage and the impressions he drew from interviews with Cliburn, his family, and close friends.
Booknews
An engaging account of the pianist's early years and his career. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780840776815
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/1993
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.55(d)

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