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Van Cliburn Celebration June 30th Hosted by Area Nonprofits
A program celebrating the life of extraordinary musician Van Cliburn will be held on Sunday, June 30, 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and hosted by the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, the Adirondack Film Society and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
The program will feature a film documentary of Van Cliburn by Emmy Award winning director Peter Rosen and narrated by Dan Rather, a National PBS NewsHour feature from 2008, performance footage, and never-before-publicly-shown home videos as well as commentary from Richard Rodzinski President Emeritus of the Van Cliburn Foundation, Film Director Rosen, and others with ties to this legendary pianist. Musicians and piano students as well as the general public will enjoy this evening to reflect on the life of Van Cliburn and hear personal perspectives about him from friends and associates.
Van Cliburn was an American hero. He was hailed as one of the most persuasive ambassadors of American culture, as well as one of the greatest pianists in the history of music. With his historic 1958 victory at the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, at the height of the Cold War, Van Cliburn tore down cultural barriers years ahead of glasnost and perestroika, transcending politics by demonstrating the universality of classical music. Returning home from Moscow, Mr. Cliburn received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, the only time a classical musician was ever honored with the highest tribute possible by the City of New York. Mr. Cliburn performed for every President of the United States since Harry Truman and for royalty and heads of state in Europe, Asia, and South America. He received Kennedy Center Honors and the Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award. In a 2004 Kremlin ceremony he received the Order of Friendship from President Vladimir Putin, and in 2003, President George W. Bush bestowed upon him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Barack Obama honored Mr. Cliburn with the National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House in 2011.
Van Cliburn also has a connection to Lake Placid and the history of the arts in the community. When the Center for Music and Dramatic Arts was established (now the Lake Placid Center for the Arts), Van Cliburn was called upon to select and be the first to perform on the grand piano that remains in use at the Center today.
“We are thrilled to be hosting this program collaboratively with area organizations and are honored to be Celebrating Van Cliburn as part of our arts programming at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts,” stated James Lemons, Executive Director.
“We are excited that a special program devoted exclusively to Van Cliburn will be the entrée to our Lake Placid Sinfonietta summer season of wonderful classical music,” stated Barbara Erickson, Board President. “The Lake Placid Sinfonietta is also pleased to present recent Van Cliburn competition finalist, Di Wu on July 14.”
“There is a history side to all of this as we reflect on the life of this great performer and become inspired by what he accomplished. The Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society is happy to be a part of this offering,” stated Board President, Peter Roland.
“I know the documentaries will be very illuminating and we are proud to help support this evening’s program which ties into the Adirondack Film Society’s mission of hosting unique films in the Adirondacks,” stated Board President John Huttlinger.
Individual tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance by calling LPCA 518.523.2512 or on the web at www.lakeplacidarts.org. Proceeds from the program will go to support the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, the Adirondack Film Society and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. A reception will immediately follow the program.
For more information on the life and career of Van Cliburn, please visit: https://www.cliburn.org/van-cliburn/biography