Inna Lobanova-Heasley

Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

How a Russian-Born Philadelphian Helped Give New Life to a Song Van Cliburn Loved

Van Cliburn loved the Russian folk song, "Ducks are Flying," and asked for it to be performed at his funeral service. But no one in Texas could find the song.

When American pianist Van Cliburn died in 2013, funeral organizers in Texas couldn’t locate an obscure piece of music he’d requested for the service. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, thanks to a Philadelphia connection, the Russian folk song was found, and is now enjoying new life in America.

Here are several ensembles presenting the Russian folk song performed at Van Cliburn's funeral service.

The Voronezh State Folk Choir (Russian)

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Creatively Speaking
12:24 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The American Pianist Who Rocked Russia for Decades

Van Cliburn in a ticker-tape parade in 1958 after winning the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition. He's the only musician to ever receive a ticker-tape parade tribute in New York City.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 would have been the 80th birthday of celebrated American pianist Van Cliburn,  who died in 2013. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his 1958 win in the Soviet Union’s first International Tchaikovsky Competition was a welcome sign of warmth in the midst of Cold War tensions.

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