Classical pianist Van Cliburn dies at 78

Associated Press
FILE - This Sept. 18, 2008 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn at the presentation ceremony of the Liberty Medal that was presented to former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev in Philadelphia. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status  died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer.  (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek, file)

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Van Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status, has died. He was 78.

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