Classical pianist Van Cliburn dies at 78

Van Cliburn,

the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow

competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career

that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status, has

died. He was 78.

FILE - This April 11, 1958 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn performing in final round of Tchaikovsky International Piano & Violin competition in Moscow. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. He was 78. (AP Photo, file)

FILE - This April 11, 1958 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn performing in final round of Tchaikovsky International Piano & Violin competition in Moscow. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. He was 78. (AP Photo, file)

In this photo provided by the Van Cliburn Foundation, Texas pianist Van Cliburn performs to a packed audience in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, Russia, in April 1958 during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won. Van Cliburn has been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer and is resting comfortably at his Texas home, his publicist said Monday Aug. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Van Cliburn Foundation, file)

In this photo provided by the Van Cliburn Foundation, Texas pianist Van Cliburn performs to a packed audience in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, Russia, in April 1958 during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won. Van Cliburn has been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer and is resting comfortably at his Texas home, his publicist said Monday Aug. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Van Cliburn Foundation, file)

Pianist Van Cliburn poses for a portrait at the Steinway & Sons showroom in New York on March 18, 1994. Renowned classical pianist Van Cliburn has been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer and is resting comfortably at his Texas home, his publicist said Monday Aug. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Wyatt Counts, file) NO SALES

Pianist Van Cliburn poses for a portrait at the Steinway & Sons showroom in New York on March 18, 1994. Renowned classical pianist Van Cliburn has been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer and is resting comfortably at his Texas home, his publicist said Monday Aug. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Wyatt Counts, file) NO SALES

FILE - This Sept. 21, 2004 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn performing during at a concert dedicated to the memory of the victims of the recent Beslan school massacre in Moscow. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. He was 78. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, file)

FILE - This Sept. 21, 2004 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn performing during at a concert dedicated to the memory of the victims of the recent Beslan school massacre in Moscow. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. He was 78. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, file)

FILE - This July 12, 2003 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn after performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the Orchestra plays "Happy Birthday," on his 69th birthday at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. He was 78. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, file)

FILE - This July 12, 2003 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn after performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the Orchestra plays "Happy Birthday," on his 69th birthday at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. He was 78. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, file)

FILE - This Sept. 18, 2008 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn at the presentation ceremony of the Liberty Medal that was presented to former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev in Philadelphia. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek, file)

FILE - This Sept. 18, 2008 file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn at the presentation ceremony of the Liberty Medal that was presented to former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev in Philadelphia. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek, file)