Pianist Van Cliburn: America’s Greatest Diplomat, Cold War Era, US-Russia Relations


The Cold War could have ended in 1958 when Van Cliburn won the Piano Competition in Moscow. Van Cliburn was overwhelmed with Russian applause and his stage with the profusion of flowers.  

The judges asked Khrushchev if they were permitted to award the prize to the American. Khrushchev asked, “was he the best?” “Yes,” replied the judges. “Then give him the prize,” said the Soviet leader. 

Khrushchev achieved the de-Stalinization of Russia and worked with US President John F. Kennedy to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis. Their cooperation opened an end to the Cold War. However, hardliners in both countries removed both leaders from office, thus condemning the world to the ever present risk of nuclear armageddon.  Thanks to the insane US governments in the post-Reagan era, this risk is higher than ever. 

Take time to enjoy Van Cliburn’s performance in Moscow of Tchaikovsky’s piano Concerto No. 1. Here is Van Cliburn’s 1958 performance.

 Here is a later performance in Moscow. Watch the hand work. It is extraordinary that such a difficult piece of music is performed on both occasions without a single missed key.

Here is Dan Rather on the importance of the 1958 performance:

When President Reagan was trying to end the Cold War, he invited Soviet leader Gorbachev to the White House and prevailed on Van Cliburn to come out of retirement to perform in the spirit of the 1958 tension-breaking performance. Gorbachev was enthralled.

Reagan was the last American president. His successors, with the possible exception of George H. W. Bush,  have been mere puppets of the military/security complex. Yet, the left-wing hates Reagan. The Amerian left-wing has dissolved into the stupidity of Identity Politics and has even become an accomplice of the neoconservative war/police state.  

The Zionist neoconservatives and the military/security complex have succeeded in destroying the accomplishment of Reagan and Gorbachev, and have resurrected the prospect of nuclear armageddon.

Featured image: WNYC

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Articles by: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

About the author:

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, has held numerous university appointments. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Dr. Roberts can be reached at http://paulcraigroberts.org

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