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American classical pianist Van Cliburn dies at age 78

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� Tim Shaffer / Reuters

Pianist Van Cliburn speaks before the presentation of the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 18, 2008. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

Pianist Van Cliburn speaks before the presentation of the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 18, 2008. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer
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JASON REED

U.S. President Barack Obama presents the 2010 National Medal of Arts to pianist Van Cliburn during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, in this March 2, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files

U.S. President Barack Obama presents the 2010 National Medal of Arts to pianist Van Cliburn during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, in this March 2, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files
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TIM SHAFFER

Pianist Van Cliburn speaks before the presentation of the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in this September 18, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer/Files

Pianist Van Cliburn speaks before the presentation of the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in this September 18, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer/Files
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