Radu Lupu, celebrated Romanian pianist, dies at age 76

The extensively admired Romanian pianist Radu Lupu has died at age 76. His supervisor, Jenny Vogel, advised NPR that he died “peacefully at his home in Switzerland from multiple prolonged illnesses” on Sunday night. Lupu was often cited by fellow musicians as an inspiration and mannequin of creative expression, significantly for his interpretations of Schubert, Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven and Bartok, amongst different composers.

His loss of life was introduced by the George Enescu International Festival and Competition in Bucharest; no different particulars of his loss of life have been launched. Lupu had retired from public performances in 2019, after a number of years of canceling many engagements as a consequence of poor well being, and had not recorded because the mid-Nineteen Nineties.

Throughout his profession, Lupu recoiled from interviews and press appearances; he additionally didn’t permit radio broadcasts of his performances. But his music making grew to become the stuff of deep dedication amongst followers and fellow musicians.

Born in Galati, Romania, on Nov. 30, 1945, he started piano classes at age 6; by the point he was 12, he gave his first public live performance that includes fully his personal compositions. He went on to check on the Moscow Conservatory in 1961.

His worldwide profession started with a blazing trio of wins at three extremely prestigious piano competitions: the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas in 1966, the George Enescu International Piano Competition in Bucharest in 1967, and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition in England in 1969.

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By the next yr, he had begun recording for Decca, his document label house for the subsequent two-plus a long time. (He made a handful of different recordings for different labels in partnership with different musicians, together with collaborations with pianists Daniel Barenboim and Murray Perahia, soprano Barbara Hendricks, and violinists Szymon Goldberg and Kyung-Wha Chung.)

In a evaluate of a set of Lupu’s full solo recordings for Decca, Gramophone critic Rob Cowan wrote in 2010: “If I were asked to sum up the art of the pianist Radu Lupu in a single phrase, it would be “the Carlos Kleiber of the piano,” meaning perfectionism in detail combined with a musical imagination that delivers, and an invariable grasp of where the music is going … Lupu gives the impression of someone who had been thinking of the music long before playing it, so that every quaver has its place, every nuance its designated effect. And yet the end results rarely sound calculated, such is the depth and persuasiveness of Lupu’s musicianship.”

When information of Lupu’s loss of life got here Monday, tributes from fellow musicians poured out on social media, together with from pianists Igor Levit, Kirill Gerstein, Vikingur Olafsson, Lars Vogt, Gabriela Montero and Stewart Goodyear, in addition to composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Cellist Steven Isserlis wrote on Twitter: “Devastated to hear that Radu Lupu has left us. Not only one of the greatest, warmest, most profound musicians I’ve ever heard, but also a deeply kind, compassionate, modest and humorous man – and a wonderful friend. He was ready to go, true; but he’ll still be desperately missed.”

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