One of the world's greatest classical musicians, Van Cliburn, passed away from cancer at the age of 78. The pianist was the first classical record to sell a million copies. He was the rock star of the classical music world and had adoring fans who followed him everywhere. Cliburn fans were so numerous and raucous the Beatles would have been to have had the musicians fans!
Cliburn was 23 years old when he was the first American to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Upon his return to the States, he was even given a ticker tape parade.
The talented musical genius never came out of the closet but was generally known to be gay.
The following video was taken at a Moscow Concert in 1962. Cliburn is playing Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 Movement III.