Van and Nancy Lee

Posted Tuesday, Mar. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Shortly after moving here from Boston to become president of RadioShack, I had a totally unexpected visitor at my office: Nancy Lee Bass.

She said I was supposed to be very much into music and she had a request, namely that the new head of the Van Cliburn Piano Competition was not greatly into music. So, would I help? "How?" I replied. "As her [the chair's] vice chairman."

The result was that I was indeed Phyllis Tilley's vice chairman for eight years, hosted five live-in competitors and was around if needed -- and still am!

Van Cliburn, whom I met here because of my West Coast brother, a former impresario and associate of Van's. When that brother's wife died in 2012, I phoned Van. The result was that Van instantly sent him several dozen roses in memoriam.

Such great people, Van and Nancy Lee -- both doers rather than mere mute sympathizers! They are already sorely missed.

-- Lewis Kornfeld, Fort Worth

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