Renowned pianist Van Cliburn diagnosed with bone cancer

Van Cliburn

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Van Cliburn arrives for the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony on December 1, 2001 in Washington, DC. (CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 27 at 7:56 PM

FORT WORTH (AP) — Renowned classical pianist Van Cliburn has been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer.

His longtime friend and publicist, Mary Lou Falcone, announced the news Monday.

She said the 78-year-old Cliburn is resting comfortably at his home in Fort Worth. She said his spirits are high and he's under excellent care.

Cliburn skyrocketed to fame in 1958 when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at age 23. He returned to a New York ticker tape parade, the only one ever for a classical musician.

He has performed for every president since Harry Truman, and for years has devoted his time to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Founded by Fort Worth music teachers in 1962, it's held every four years and now considered the world's premiere piano competition.

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