Notes and Editorial Reviews
Van Cliburn is one of the most celebrated pianists this country has produced. Though he will always be remembered as the winner of the first Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition (and remains the only American ever to have won it), this 1966 documentary from the archives of the Bell Telephone Hour highlights Cliburn’s true distinction as a musician of remarkable range and depth. Cliburn himself narrates the film, and offers many personal insights on music.
Van Cliburn’s dedication to the development of young artists is shown in his work with the Interlochen Music Camp. Leading a student orchestra, Cliburn rehearses the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 for a concert in which he will both conduct and be piano soloist. The
Russian composer Dmitri Kabalevsky also makes an appearance during this segment.
Other highlights include recording sessions of the Chopin B minor Sonata; a visit with his parents, followed by a trip to the site of his very first recital at age 5; Cliburn practicing the Liszt B minor Sonata at his home in Tucson; hosting a White House concert of the winners of the Tchaikovsky Competition at which Erich Leinsdorf also performs; in rehearsal with Kirill Kondrashin for a Hollywood Bowl performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. At the conclusion of the Hollywood Bowl concert, Cliburn and Kondrashin offer the final movement of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 as an encore - a thrilling climax to this fascinating profile.
A Production of Henry Jaffe Enterprises, Inc. ©2000 Jaffe Partners Limited Partnership (All Rights Reserved). Originally produced for the Bell Telephone Hour television series. Producer: Nathan Kroll, Narrated by Van Cliburn. 54 minutes, USA, 1966, Color.
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