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Pictures | Wed Feb 27, 2013 | 2:27pm EST

American classical pianist Van Cliburn dies at age 78

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

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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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

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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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

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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