Former U.S. President George W. Bush paid tribute to classical pianist Van Cliburn at a memorial service in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday (03Mar13).
The politician was among 1,400 mourners who turned out to pay their last respects to the 78-year-old musician following his death from bone cancer last week (27Feb13).
Bush, who presented the pianist with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003, spoke at the ceremony and described Cliburn as a "gracious" and "humble" man, who was "beloved, even by the enemy" and "spread peace and love through his music".
A statement from U.S. President Barack Obama, who awarded Cliburn the National Medal of Arts in 2010, was read out at the service, along with a note of tribute from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The memorial service also featured a performance by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by a choir.
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