Visitation for Van Cliburn at Fort Worth church



Posted on March 2, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 2 at 11:08 PM

FORT WORTH — Friends, family, and strangers filled Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth Saturday for a chance to say a special goodbye to Van Cliburn.

The world famous pianist died of bone cancer on Wednesday morning.

A steady, solemn line of mourners lined up for visitation, slowly passing Cliburn's casket which was covered with an embroidered cream colored blanket and a red ribbon.

Van Cliburn gained internation attention in 1958 when he won the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow.

But his legacy lives on in North Texas through the Van Cliburn Piano Competition., which brings together the best musical talent of the next generation.

Funeral services for Cliburn will take place at 3 p.m. CT (21:00 UTC) on Sunday.

WFAA will broadcast the funeral live from Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth on digital Channel 8.2 in North Texas.

The live program can also be seen locally on Time Warner Cable Channel 371 and Charter Cable Channel 101.

Former President George W. Bush and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are among the scheduled speakers at the event. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will perform.

The orchestra played along with Van Cliburn dozens of times over the years, so it will be a very personal tribute.

"We're performing the second movement, the slow movement of Rachmaninoff's second symphony," said Fort Worth Symphony spokeswoman Amy Adkins. "Rachmaninoff was Van's favorite composer. It has one of the most memorable and beautiful melodies ever written, and it will be just a very touching moment for everyone that's there, including our musicians."

WFAA will re-broadcast Van Cliburn's funeral at 1:05 a.m. Monday on Channel 8.