Van Cliburn, who sadly passed away yesterday, was no stranger to the Buzz column. Buzz felt fortunate to be there in the fall of 2007 when he joined Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster Michael Ludwig to entertain at the Rue Franklin.
It was sort of an impromptu performance, and what fun! It is not every day you have a world-famous pianist playing a spinet in a restaurant.
Here they are playing. It was sweet how JoAnn Falletta, the BPO music director, was turning pages. On the Gusto Blog we have pictures of JoAnn and Van Cliburn at their concert at Kleinhans Music Hall.
It was sweet how jazzed up we all were for this occasion. JoAnn was all dressed up and I was too. Everyone was. And we were all on our best behavior.
Here are Van and Michael taking their bows.
Afterwards Howard, the guy Buzz married, and Buzz got our picture taken with Cliburn.
How thrilled do I look?? That was fun.
And as we got to observe in the Buzz column back when it happened: When Cliburn was playing at the Rue, it was the one time when nobody in the other room could shrug and say, "That pianist, he ain't no Van Cliburn."
Because he was!