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Magnum Photographers
From the Archive
February 27, 2013
by Philippe Halsman
1958. The American pianist VAN CLIBURN.
Photographer Philippe Halsman recalls:
"Last year a magazine asked me to make a cover photograph of Van Cliburn. After an agonizing sitting with the famous pianist - he does not care to pose for photographers - I rearranged my speedlights, pulled out my Rollei and asked him whether he would jump for me. Van Cliburn refused. Politely I inquired what his reasons were for not wanting to jump. The artist put his arms behind his back, lifted his chim and said, "There is no need for explanations". Semiautomatically my finger pressed the release and I obtained a photograph of Mr. Cliburn at this stirring moment."