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Born in 1934
Inducted in 2001
Van Cliburn won the First International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958, at the height of the Cold War. Returning home from Moscow, Cliburn received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, the only time a classical musician was ever feted with this, the highest honor New York City can bestow. Following his triumph in Moscow, Cliburn played in several cities in the Soviet Union, and from that time on, Cliburn toured widely and frequently. He performed with every major orchestra and conductor, and appeared in all of the important international concert halls. Between 1960 and 1972 Cliburn toured the Soviet Union four times. He has performed for every President of the United States since Harry Truman, and for royalty and heads of state in Europe, Asia and South America. During the 1990s, Cliburn toured Japan twice, and performed all over the U.S., including Nashville, for the Symphony’s 50th anniversary, and with the Symphony Orchestras of Fort Worth, Columbus, Oklahoma City, San Jose, Oregon, San Antonio, Austin and Seattle. He has also played with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Orchestra, and with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood. In 1998 he appeared at the opening of the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, both in recital and as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony. Cliburn is the recipient of honorary degrees from many universities, including Baylor, Loyola, Texas Christian, Michigan State, the University of Cincinnati, Louisiana State University, and Moscow Conservatory. In 1996 he received Michigan’s University Musical Society’s First Distinguished Artist Award. In 1998 the Classical Music Broadcasters Association awarded him the Arturo Toscanini Award, and in 1998, also, he received an honorary doctorate from The Juilliard School.