The Cliburn

In Memoriam

Van for dedication page softerVan Cliburn
b. July 12, 1934
d. February 27 2013

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge that our dear friend and inspiration Van Cliburn died peacefully in his home in Fort Worth, Texas, surrounded by loved ones, on February 27, 2013.

Van was a treasured member of the Fort Worth community who belonged to the world. His legacy is one of being a great humanitarian, a great musician, a great colleague, and a great friend to all who knew and loved him. Van is iconic, and we at the Van Cliburn Foundation join the world in mourning the loss of a true giant.

The Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this May will be dedicated to Van’s memory. As the organization that bears his heroic name, our mission is to carry forward his spirit of spreading the universality and abounding love of classical music across the world in perpetuity. It is a great task, and one those of us who have been inspired by his life, his work, and the sparkle in his eyes take up with tremendous joy and determination.

Over 1,400 people attended memorial services at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth on Sunday, March 3, 2013, to pay their respects and celebrate his life. To download the program, click here.

Our Mission

It is the mission of the Cliburn to advance classical piano music throughout the world. Its international competitions, education programs, and concert series embody an enduring commitment to artistic excellence and the discovery of young artists.



The Cliburn is a not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors, elected for a four year term. It is sustained by the generous support from individuals, foundations, corporations, the tireless efforts of volunteers, and embraced by the community of Fort Worth. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is a proud member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions.


201 Main Street, Suite 100
Fort Worth, TX 76102


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