He stayed VERY low key. Dude had the talent, chops and looks to be a worldwide megastar but he stayed at home in Fort Worth, avoided the fast lane and went out and only played gigs that he wanted to do. In classical music circles, he was known as the greatest player of all time, but aside from sponsoring his foundation for aspiring talent in that field, he kept to himself and lived a homely and quiet life. When he went to Moscow in 1958 and won the international competition, the deal could have easily been fixed by Kruschev, as there were several Russian players in it and it would have been an Iron Curtain propaganda victory over the West. But to everyone's surprise, Kruschev asked the judges on the committee, who really is the best of them and they said Van Kliburn is. He said then give him First Place. Said, finished, done. Van Kliburn was given a ticker-tape parade in New York when he returned and he was on the cover of Time Magazine in '58. That's about as high-profile as he ever got, by his own choice. He did practice every day up until recently...something I should do, but I get into graphics when I'm not playing gigs anymore.
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