Gov. Rick Perry today released the following statement regarding the death of the world renowned American pianist, Van Cliburn:
"Van Cliburn lived an extraordinary life and was a true man of his times. His prodigious gifts at the piano are legendary, and his storied accomplishment at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition helped bring the world closer together. His larger-than-life talent helped transcend discourse and reminded us that we are, at the core of our being, all human beings who love works of beauty. On a personal note, Anita and I will miss him tremendously. We were blessed to call Van Cliburn a close friend. He was an incredibly thoughtful person and his love of life was contagious to anyone in his company. Anita and I send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans during this difficult time."