Hundreds At Memorial Service For Pianist Cliburn

About 1,400 people are attending a memorial service in Texas for the celebrated classical pianist Van Cliburn, who died last week after battling cancer.

Photo: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Joyce Marshall, Pool/AP
Anita Thigpen Perry, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Laura Bush and George W. Bush.

Former President George W. Bush and Juilliard School President Joseph Polisi are among those planning to speak at the Sunday service.

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra accompanied a choir as pall bearers carried Cliburn’s flower-covered coffin into the Fort Worth church.

Cliburn died Wednesday at 78 after fighting bone cancer. He played for every U.S. president since Harry Truman, plus royalty and heads of state worldwide.

Photo: AP file photo
Performing for the American Association of School Administrators at the Convention Hall in Atlantic, City, N.J.

Cliburn is best remembered for winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958. At the height of the Cold War, the win helped thaw the icy rivalry between the United States and Soviet Union.