Music: The All-American Virtuoso

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"Ah swear to goodness, ah just can't believe all this is happenin' to li'l ole Van Cliburn from the piney woods of East Texas!" Most everybody agreed with Van. Through a rare combination of sheer talent, the tension of the cold war and the thunderous amplifier of modern publicity, the long-legged 23-year-old winner of Moscow's International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition (TIME, April 21) had overnight become the object of the most explosive single outpouring of popular acclaim ever accorded a U.S. musician. Next week Manhattan will give him a national hero's welcome...

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