Jose Feghali, the 1985 Cliburn gold medalist, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Photograph: The Dallas Morning News archives

Jose Feghali, the 1985 Cliburn gold medalist, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Photograph: The Dallas Morning News archives

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The so-called "Cliburn curse" is being recalled after a virtuoso pianist's wife was charged with killing their 2 daughters in a Fort Worth suburb last week. Dallas Morning News contributing classical music critic Scott Cantrell discusses the strange tragedy and the even stranger story of the curse. (Even the Washington Post has weighed in.) He says three previous Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winners have met with very tragic ends. 

Alex Sultanov was 19 when he won the Cliburn in 1993. He had two strokes in the next eight years and died in 2005 at the age of 35. Photograph: The Dallas Morning News archives. 

Alex Sultanov was 19 when he won the Cliburn in 1993. He had two strokes in the next eight years and died in 2005 at the age of 35. Photograph: The Dallas Morning News archives. 

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