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Van Cliburn Foundation Records


It is the mission of the Van Cliburn Foundation to showcase extraordinary talent and promote excellence in classical music worldwide through piano competitions, concerts, and educational programs.

Van Cliburn was an American pianist, who won the first Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958. In November 1958, during a dinner banquet, Dr. Irl Allison, founder of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, announced his intention to offer a cash prize of $10,000 to be used for an international piano competition named in Van Cliburn’s honor. Under the leadership of Ms. Grace Ward Lankford, volunteers began to raise funds and organize “a world-class international piano competition in a city still affectionately known as ‘Cowtown.’” The first quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was held from September 24 to October 7, 1962, at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Until his death in 2013, Cliburn continued to serve as Director Emeritus for the Van Cliburn Foundation and as host of the quadrennial competition and other programs until his death in 2013.

Today, the Van Cliburn Foundation promotes music and artists through the quadrennial piano competitions, the annual Cliburn Concerts series, ongoing educational programs, and the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs™.



The provenance of this collection is unknown.

Scope and Contents Note

The Van Cliburn Foundation Records consist of programs from the Cliburn Concerts and the Van Cliburn Competitions, a newsletter, and a competition brochure from 1961. The materials date from 1961 - 2005 and measure .8 linear feet (2 boxes).

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Last updated: Oct. 20, 2014