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Van Cliburn Foundation

Identifier: C-0112

Scope and Contents Note

The Van Cliburn Foundation Records consist of programs from the Cliburn Concerts and the Van Cliburn Competitions, a newsletter, and a competition brochure from 1961. The materials date from 1961-2005 and measure .8 linear feet (2 boxes).


  • 1961 - 2005

Language of Materials



It is the mission of the Van Cliburn Foundation to showcase extraordinary talent and promote excellence in classical music worldwide through piano competitions, concerts, and educational programs.

Van Cliburn was an American pianist, who won the first Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958. In November 1958, during a dinner banquet, Dr. Irl Allison, founder of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, announced his intention to offer a cash prize of $10,000 to be used for an international piano competition named in Van Cliburn’s honor. Under the leadership of Ms. Grace Ward Lankford, volunteers began to raise funds and organize “a world-class international piano competition in a city still affectionately known as ‘Cowtown.’” The first quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was held from September 24 to October 7, 1962, at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Until his death in 2013, Cliburn continued to serve as Director Emeritus for the Van Cliburn Foundation and as host of the quadrennial competition and other programs until his death in 2013.

Today, the Van Cliburn Foundation promotes music and artists through the quadrennial piano competitions, the annual Cliburn Concerts series, ongoing educational programs, and the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs™.

Sources: Van Cliburn Foundation. History of the Competition. Accessed July 9, 2013.

Van Cliburn Foundation. Van Cliburn Biography. Accessed July 9, 2013.


0.8 Linear Feet (2 Boxes)

Van Cliburn Foundation
Kathryn Garvey Cain
July 2013

Repository Details

Part of the Fort Worth Public Library Archives Repository

500 West 3rd Street
Fort Worth Texas 76102