Christie's Auctioning Items From Texan Pianist

Classical pianist Van Cliburn will sell more than 150 items

Legendary classical pianist Van Cliburn is parting with more than 150 items he acquired over five decades performing around the globe.

The items will be part of a Christie's auction Thursday in New York City. They include a silver soup tureen from the collection of a daughter of Russian Czar Nicholas I.

Cliburn says he's contemplated the sale for years, since moving belongings out of homes in two other states to his Fort Worth mansion. 

"There's some other things I was wanting to do, and I said, 'This will give me the opportunity to do it,'" Cliburn told NBC 5 in an exclusive interview. "And while I feel young, it's always nice to be thinking of tomorrow."

Cliburn started collecting the furniture, paintings and jewelry after winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 at age 23. It was the height of the Cold War, and the lanky Texan quickly gained international fame.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Cliburn is keeping plenty of his treasures.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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