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Van Cliburn Given Enthusiastic Reception at Israel Festival

Van Cliburn, the young American pianist, scored a resounding success last night in his Israel debut as the first guest musician at the Music and Drama Festival organized by the Israeli Government. The Piraikon Theater of Greece will begin performances of “Elektra” tonight.

Cliburn played Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra directed by George Singer and the enthusiastic audience applauded in unison until he presented an encore. The festival, expanded this year to include drama, will continue until September 10. Igor Stravinsky will conduct his own works. Other features will include appearances by the Amadeus String Quartet of London and the Music chamber ensemble of Rome.