Earlier this week, classical pianist Van Cliburn died at age 78. In a piece written on the day of his death, Soundcheck host John Schaefer described him this way:
"...one classical pianist was a larger-than-life, rock-star figure on at least two continents. He was a pop-music phenomenon, with a debut album that went triple platinum. Everyone knew who he was."
The pianist, who became a household name by winning the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War in 1958. WNYC's classical sister station, WQXR, recorded Van Cliburn's triumphant post-victory concert at Carnegie Hall that year -- we take a listen with WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon.