Cliburn strongly believed arts deserved a bigger role in everyone’s education. Each summer he returned as a guest for Interlochen’s Summer Music Festival, and programs were specially designed by local artist Gwen Frostic for his performances with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. Following Cliburn’s appearances at Interlochen Arts Camp up through 1979, Frostic continued designing programs for the Van Cliburn Benefit Concert series through 1984. Her programs are artistically developed colored prints depicting serene scenes of nature and include short poems speaking of Interlochen and artistic pursuits.
a place of challenge ---
excitement and delight ---
motivation and dedication
and the eternal
quest for excellency --
There will be no finale --
but a continuous unfinished symphony -
----- allegro deciso con brio.”
-- Gwen Frostic, Van Cliburn at Interlochen - July 23, 1977
In July of 2006 Cliburn gave a final performance with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and spent the hours following speaking with and signing autographs for his young, ardent Interlochen fans. He will always be remembered at Interlochen by his firm dedication and advocacy for arts education.