Most newspapers today are running Van Cliburn’s obituary.  He was a brilliant pianist and a welcomed celebrity most everywhere.  Mr Cliburn was a private person and when he made a public appearance, it was always in controlled and reserved fashion.  His fame rested on winning the 1958 Tchaikovsky contest.  Mr Cliburn, however, never flaunted that accomplishment and played concerts for many years thereafter with grace and ease.

The obituaries are lengthy.  They recount his friendship with various conductors and his fondness for Texas.  Buried near the end of each obituary, there is a line that reads roughly…  “surviving Mr Cliburn is Joe Blow (not this person’s real name) who has shared his home for many years”.

Mr Cliburn lived in times before same sex relationships were openly discussed.  He was a very kind and polite person, and the press seems to have chosen to honor Mr Cliburn’s privacy wishes.

Good for them.


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