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He practiced daily and performed limited engagements until only recently. His last public appearance came in September at the 50th anniversary of the prestigious piano competition bearing his name.

Speaking to the audience in Fort Worth, he saluted the many past contestants, the orchestra and the city: “Never forget: I love you all from the bottom of my heart, forever.” The audience responded with a roaring standing ovation.

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Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

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Online:

Van Cliburn Foundation: http://www.cliburn.org