Back when I was in school and taking piano lessons, my teacher -- a wonderful lady named Margaret Hooker -- used to rave about Van Cliburn. She thought the world of him, and I never think of him without thinking of her almost at the same time. I was never that good at the piano, choosing instead to focus my energies on my beloved trumpet, which I imagine had to frustrate Mrs. Hooker somewhat, as I could have done better had I worked harder at it. I'd say 'Story of my life', but then, that's the story of everyone's life, isn't it?
Anyway, I hope that Mrs. Hooker is finally getting to meet Mr. Cliburn in whatever musical realm they now inhabit. There's no question in my mind that if there is such a realm, she's already tracked him down.
Here's Van Cliburn playing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1.
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