Cliburn Piano Contest Gets Underway

FORT WORTH (May 24, 2013)--The 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition got underway Friday in Fort Worth as 30 contestants from 12 countries began competing in the preliminary round of the competition that's held every four years.

Awards will be presented June 9.

Some teachers and residents who wanted to honor Cliburn created the contest in 1962.

In 1958 he gained worldwide fame and rock-star status by winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

His win also helped thaw the icy rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union.

He died in February at age 78 at his Fort Worth home after battling bone cancer.

He was never a judge in the Cliburn competition, but he did present the awards.

The contest remains among the top showcases for the world's best pianists.

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