Soundings: New Music at the Nasher

A Tribute to Van Cliburn (July 12, 1934 – February 27, 2013)

May 15, 2014
7:30 pm

This concert is now SOLD OUT. To be placed on a wait list please call Jim Parks at 214.242.5100 or consider purchasing tickets to one of the Leon Fleisher Master Classes on May 12 and/or May 13.

We pay tribute to this legacy left to us by Van Cliburn and continued through the work of the Cliburn Foundation, bringing together six past participants of the Cliburn Competition for a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen and reuniting Mr. Fleisher, the Julliard Quartet and the Brahms Quintet more than a half- century later. 

In the springtime of 1963 pianist Leon Fleisher and the Juilliard String Quartet recorded the Brahms Piano Quintet offering an interpretation of a monumental work that would inform generations of musicians. They made music in the shadow of the frightening battle of wills that gripped the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis just a few months before and although the uncomfortable normalcy of the Cold War years had returned, these international crises could not erase the echoes of a remarkable moment in history when music, and not missiles, was the focus of international attention.

Five years earlier, Nikita Khrushchev had sanctioned Van Cliburn’s triumph at the Tchaikovsky Competition. But politics had no voice in the eight-minute standing ovation that Van Cliburn’s performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto elicited from the audience and extraordinarily, from members of the orchestra with whom he had just played. This was a moment that moved beyond music’s ability to reach each of us in deeply personal ways. It transcended politics and culture, touching something elemental in our desire to recognize what we share and not what makes us different. 

Leon Fleisher, piano
Juilliard String Quartet
Pianists from the Cliburn Competition: Lindsay Garritson, Andrea Lam, Alex McDonald, Tomoki Sakata, Yekwon Sunwoo, and Amy Yang. 

Non-Members $25
Members $20
Students and Educators $10

Guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary wine reception the half hour before the concert and during intermission.


Soundings is supported by Charles and Jessie Price
and Kay and Elliot Cattarulla