Van Cliburn memorial concert marks one year since pianist's passing

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 11:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 11:35 PM

FORT WORTH -- Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth was flooded with hundreds of music lovers on Thursday evening in memory of renowned pianist Van Cliburn.

The longtime Fort Worth resident died Feb. 27, 2013.

A tribute concert was performed one year later by eight former Van Cliburn Competition finalists.

"We just had to come down here. It was like a magnet drawing us," said Terri Snyder, who brought his wife to enjoy the performance.

Cliburn stormed onto the world stage when he won the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958. In the decades after the performance, he became one of the world's most famous pianists and faces in classical music.

He also helped shape the cultural identity of Fort Worth, something not lost on those who came by Thursday.

"He did so much for us," said Jean Frick, who volunteered to be an usher at the program. "When the founder of your group [Van Cliburn Competition] dies, you want to make something of it when the day comes around."

The concert was free and drew a crowd of more than 300 at one point.

The Van Cliburn Competition has a complete viewing of the performances at this link.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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