Wednesday, February 27, 2013
I met the late, great Van Cliburn only once, decades ago, during my days at The Shreveport Times, when the famed pianist returned to his hometown to perform with the local symphony. (Sorry, Time Magazine: He really was a Louisiana native.) But he told me something during our brief interview that has always stuck in my mind: "If I have talent," he said, "it's a gift from God. But if I have a career, it's a gift from the audience. Because they don't have to come see me, or buy my records." I wonder how many lesser talented contemporary showbiz celebs would do well to heed his words of wisdom.