US pianist Van Cliburn`s art collection on sale

New Delhi: Music, art and antiquities will be the theme of a Christie`s auction May 17 when the London-based auction house offers 150 exceptional works from the personal collection of celebrated pianist American Van Cliburn, Christie`s said Friday.

Born in 1934, Cliburn is considered one of America`s greatest pianists in the history of music and a persuasive ambassador for American culture.

The Cliburn art works on sale feature 150 exceptional works from his personal collection, including old English furniture, Russian art, silver and jewels. The prices of the art pieces on offer range from $1,000 to $250,000.

The total sale is expected to achieve in excess of $3 million, a statement by Christie`s said. It is open to buyers from India and Asia too.

Cliburn, who has been honoured with several awards in the US and Russia, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Order of Friendship from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts by US President Barack Obama, was a connoisseur of arts, man of refined taste and a collector.

Christie`s head of private collections, William Strafford, said: "It is a tremendous honour for Christie`s to offer the Van Cliburn Collection, which reveals a uniquely personal side to this supremely talented musician."

The Time magazine billed him as `The Texan Who Conquered Russia`. He made his orchestral debut at 12 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He has performed for every president of the US since Harry Truman and for royalty and heads of state in Europe, Asia and South America.