Music: American Sputnik

The chandeliered, high-windowed concert hall of Moscow's Tchaikovsky State Conservatory echoed last week to the rubbery beat of Blue Moon and the striding chords of Embraceable You. Then a reedy Texas voice rose above the piano: "A-a-ah've got you un-dah mah skin!" The singer was long-legged, tousled Van Cliburn, 23, prize-winning pianist at the Tchaikovsky International Piano and Violin Festival (TIME, April 21 ), who had got under the Russian skin as no foreign artist had done in modern memory.

With his impromptu Rodgers-Gershwin-Porter recital, Cliburn warmed up to play the last movement of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto at a concert...

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