The other evening I met someone who told of hearing VanCliburn in recital when she was barely 12 years old - the first time she had gone to a recital. She recalled what she wore, who she saw in the high school gymnasium in her hometown in Alabama where the recital took place. She recalled VanCliburn's demeanor when she went backstage to get his autograph. She never got over it.
Many years later she found herself on a plane, flying coach, either to or from LA and there, a few rows away from her, was VanCliburn. Overwhelmed by her memories of that long-ago event she wrote him a note which she asked the flight attendant to deliver. A few minutes later the flight attendant came back with VanCliburn who wanted to meet the person who had written that note. They continued to chat even at the baggage claim.
What impresses me is that these two individuals shared a moment of deep meaning, based on personal identity, personal connection via music.
Fame had nothing to do with it. Personal involvement did.