Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story-How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War Read Online Free - Gripping narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic story of a remarkable young Texan pianist, Van Cliburn, who played his way through the wall of fear built by the Cold War, won the hearts of the American and Russian people, and eased tensions between two superpowers on the brink of nuclear war.
In 1958, an unheralded twenty-three-year-old piano prodigy from Texas named Van Cliburn traveled to Moscow to compete in the First International Tchaikovsky Competition. The Soviets had no intention of bestowing their coveted prize on an unknown American; a Russian pianist had already been chosen to win. Yet when the gangly Texan with the shy grin took the stage and began to play, he instantly captivated an entire nation.
The Soviet people were charmed by Van Cliburn’s extraordinary talent, passion, and fresh-faced innocence, but it was his palpable love for the music that earned their devotion; for many, he played more like a Russian than their own musicians. As enraptured crowds mobbed Cliburn’s performances, pressure mounted to award him the competition prize. "Is he the best?" Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev demanded of the judges. "In that case . . . give him the prize!"
Adored by millions in the USSR, Cliburn returned to a thunderous hero’s welcome in the USA and became, for a time, an ambassador of hope for two dangerously hostile superpowers. In this thrilling, impeccably researched account, Nigel Cliff recreates the drama and tension of the Cold War era, and brings into focus the gifted musician and deeply compelling figure whose music would temporarily bridge the divide between two dangerously hostile powers.
|Title||:||Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story-How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War|
|Number of Pages||:||480 pages|
February 06, 2017
"[Grandfather] told me: 'Politics is a great art, but it is divisive. Great classical music is for everyone all over the world.'"
Robustly researched, meticulously compiled and masterfully written, Nigel Cliff has brought a lessor known, but pertinent facet of the cold-war to light, framing it wit...
October 31, 2016
I could not put down Nigel Cliff’s Moscow Nights – the Van Cliburn Story – How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War, a fascinating re-visiting of the pianist’s life and career, set against the backdrop of the height of the Soviet-United States rivalry as superpowers.
I loved the pacing...
December 28, 2016
Van Cliburn’s story is nothing new: a talented young pianist who won the first Tchaikovsky Piano competition held in Moscow during the height of the Cold War, who then played piano for US and Soviet politicians for decades as a music ambassador, whose own music and personal development (including...
November 06, 2017
The story of Van Cliburn is one I've never heard before, though as soon as I finished reading this excellent biography by Nigel Cliff, I immediately checked online and found dozens of videos of his performances -- and everything Cliff writes about Cliburn's ability to play is true. The man reall...
November 07, 2017
Really fantastic writing about the Cold War and about music. It was hard to get a clear picture of Van Cliburn as a person, but he was a very private person so I guess there's not much to do about that. The scene where Van plays for Gorbachev was amazing and made me cry. Also this book made me fe...
January 15, 2017
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The perfect combination of music and politics , two of my biggest interests. I admit a prejudice as a long time fan of Van Cliburn who was in heaven when I attended his concert at the Minneapolis Auditorium with the Minneapolis Symphony (n...
January 09, 2018
I loved reading some of this, as Van Cliburn was my freshman theory professor's cousin. Many of the details were fascinating, encouraging, and/or amazing. However, I neither appreciated nor enjoyed some of the other details the author included. Perhaps I'm too close to the subject (knowing his co...
December 15, 2016
This is a very interesting account of the life of one of the most famous pianists of the 20th century, Van Cliburn. Van Cliburn rose to international fame when he won the first Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958. The author relates the early life of Cliburn in Shreveport, Louisiana,...
February 18, 2017
I met him once in Cincinnati, introduced by a musician friend who had attended Juilliard with him. He was friendly and personable but a bit shy also. His life was overshadowed by his mother, Rildia Bee who dominated his whole life and kept him sexually repressed. Sad story all around about how sh...
May 22, 2017
Although I had heard of Van Cliburn, I never knew what a sensation he had been, especially in the Soviet Union, nor the unique circumstances surrounding his acclaim. This was a rare book where I wished I had the soundtrack of his performances as accompaniment. Cliff was at his best telling the st...