Radu Lupu, A Romanian Pianist, Has Died At Age 76 April 25 2022

On Sunday, April 17, 2022, Lupu passed away in Lausanne, Switzerland, after a protracted illness. Lupu served as a role model and a source of motivation for musicians worldwide. Among the many composers whose works he has recorded are Schubert, Mozart, Bartok, Beethoven, and Brahms.

Radu Lupu Signed Photograph

Pianist Radu Lupu was born on November 30, 1945, and has won various prizes and plaudits for his work. He made his stage debut six years later, performing a variety of tunes that he had written personally. High school was in Brasov, Transylvania; he was taught by Florida Muzicescu, one of his mentors.

[Image] Radu Lupu Signed Photograph

After World War II, the Communist regime in Romania saw him receive a scholarship at Moscow's P.I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, where he schooled with the likes of Stanislav Neuhaus and Heinrich Neuhaus, two of the most renowned musicians of their day in Eastern Europe, as well as many others.


Radu Lupu, a concert pianist, is well-known for his interpretations of composers from the Austro-German school, including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms. He is a highly sought-after guest performer for symphony orchestras in North America and Europe.

Radu Lupu Original Photos

At age six, he began piano lessons with Lia Busuioceanu in Galati, Romania, and performed in front of an audience for the first time when he was 12 years old.

[Image] Radu Lupu in rehearsal

Cella Delavrancea and Florida Muzicescu continued to teach him before receiving a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory in 1961, where Heinrich Neuhaus schooled him, and Galina Eghyazarova and Stanislav Neuhaus. With these accolades in hand, he went on to win three more international piano competitions: Van Cliburn, Georges Enesco, and Leeds in 1966, 1967, and 1969, respectively. The following year, he made his New York and Carnegie Hall debut and started recording for Decca Classics in 1970, following his Van Cliburn victory.

From 1987 to 1996, he produced twenty records on Decca with music ranging from Brahms' No. 1 piano concerto and the Beethoven piano sonatas to the solo works of Brahms (including his composition) and Schumann (including his composition). Schubert's Sonatas in A major and B flat major D664 and D960 and Kreisleriana, Schumann's Kinderszenen, and Humoresque won him a Grammy an Edison Award, respectively. With violinist Szymon Goldberg on the Piano Sonatas and Mozart Violin, and with violinist Kyung Wha Chung on Debussy and Franck, Lupu has worked with some of the greatest names in the violin and piano literature of all time. Since the mid-1990s, he has not produced in a studio.

Radu Lupu Signed Program Nuremberg 1975 B0629

Radu Lupu in a recital at Nuremberg 1975

With the London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Staatskapelle Dresden, he has performed in some of the world's most renowned orchestras. Daniel Barenboim conducted the Cleveland Orchestra in 1972, and Carlo Maria Giulini conducted the Chicago Symphony in the same year. It wasn't just Salzburg and Lucerne that Lupu appeared regularly. Due to Lupu's health issues, he was forced to cancel several public appearances in 2019. Lupu won the Abbiati prise and the Premio Internazionale Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli among other honours.


Radu Lupu signed program Leeds 1978

He has since enjoyed a successful career as an orchestral pianist, performing with a few of the world's most esteemed ensembles. He's concentrated on the task at hand; he even refuses to sit on the piano bench's cushion, opting instead for an ordinary office chair. His severe stage image became part of his charm.

[Image] Program for a performance of the Romanian pianist at Leeds, 1978

Only when he wishes to silence the audience does he speak to them. The only thing left of him is his musical talent, and he has received great applause from critics for this. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performed Mozart's C Minor Concerto in Carnegie Hall in 1991 as a soloist.

Edward W. Said, a music critic for the Nation, gave it a favorable review. In Said's view, Lupu is "probably the most scrupulous and personality of contemporaneous pianists, an individual whose pianissimos, rhythm brilliance and scales are remarkable, but whose powerful musical individuality is portrayed, like Orpheus's, by simplicity and an almost simplistic reflectiveness."

In a Carnegie Hall concert in 1994, Lupu performed works by Béla Bartók, contemporary Hungarian composers, Schubert's Four Impromptus, and results from the Austro-German school of composers.

Radu Lupu Signed Photo in Performance

According to Harris Goldsmith, the "lightness of this player's touch, wicked agility of his fingers, evenness of twisting unison scale sections, reflected a transcendental order of pianism" when it came to the Schubert selection. In my view, this was the best performance I have ever heard.

[Image] Radu Lupu in live performance

Author Edward Rothstein wrote on Lupu's abnormally distant-stage behavior at the same concert in the New York Times: Music has an "unusual immediacy" since "he seems not to care whether anyone is listening," Rothstein said. "He is performing as if for himself."


He has been awarded the Van Cliburn, Enescu, and Leeds Edison Awards and a Grammy for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance of Schubert's Piano Sonatas in B Flat, and the Edison Award for Schumann's Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana and Humoresque.


"Devastated to hear that Radu Lupu has left us," cellist Steven Isserlis stated. "This man, in addition to being one of the best musicians I've ever heard, is also one of the kindest and most generous person I've ever met. Although he was eager to leave, he will be greatly missed."

According to a statement by pianist Seong-Jin Cho, "devastated by the passing of one of today's most talented musicians. Please accept my sincere gratitude for your help and support throughout the years." As of 2019, the pianist had ended his career after more than 50 years on the stage. In 1966, he won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, paving the path for his Carnegie Hall debut.

Radu Lupu Signed Program Carnegie Hall 1994

The George Enescu International Competition was his successive major triumph, and it came only a few short months later. Two years later, the Leeds International Piano Competition saw him win his third title (1969). Erica Worth interrogated Dame Fanny Waterman once at the end of 2019 and asked her about Radu Lupu, who had recently died.

[Image] Program for a concert of Radu Lupu at Carnegie Hall, 1994, signed by him

"When I look back at the history of The Leeds," Waterman says, "I feel as though I have met the globe. The people I've met through the contest have all become close friends. In order for the world to hear the best music possible, we need the best artists. Thank you, The Leeds, for bringing forth so many of them... A little town in the Perahia region called Lupu. Everywhere I travel, people tell me, 'Your competition is the best in the world.”


English Chamber Orchestra/Uri Segal, London, 1975: Mozart: Piano Concertos No. 21 in C (K. 467) and No. 12 in A (K. 414), Lupu Plays Brahms, London, 1978. and Schubert: Lieder , EMI, in 1986.


- Radu Lupu Original Photos 1990

- Radu Lupu Signed Photograph

- Radu Lupu Signed Program Carnegie Hall 1994

Radu Lupu Signed Program Leeds 1978

- Radu Lupu Signed Program Nuremberg 1975

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