Radu Lupu, a Romanian pianist who is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest pianists passed away at the age of 76 on 17th April 2022. The organizers of the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest confirmed his death.
Lupu died in Lausanne in Switzerland after a prolonged illness on Sunday evening. Lupu was the source of inspiration for fellow musicians and models of artistic expression.
He is known for his interpretations of Schubert, Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bartok, among other composers.
Radu Lupu passed away after a prolonged illness
The festival posted on its Facebook page stating, “We are deeply saddened to find out about the death of Maestro Radu Lupu, a dear friend of the Enescu Festival and a magnificent musician!. We will forever cherish his amazing way to transform music into magic. Words are not enough to express our sadness for this loss of the entire music world.”
Three years ago, Lupu retired from public performances as he had to cancel several engagements because of poor health.
Even though he did not allow radio broadcasts of his performances in his career spanning more than five decades, his music-making was the source of deep dedication not only among his fans but also among fellow musicians.
Who was Radu Lupu?
Radu Lupu was born in the year 1945 in Galati, Romania. He started learning piano lessons when he was just six years old.
At the age of 12, he delivered his first public concert based on his own compositions. He then went on to study at the Moscow Conservatory in the year 1961.
He gained prominence when he won three highly prestigious piano competitions, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas, the George Enescu International Piano Competition in Bucharest, and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition in England held in the years 1966, 1967, and 1969 respectively.
Next year he started recording for the record label Decca which remained his home label for more than 20 years.
Lupu received several awards in his career spanning more than seven decades. He was nominated for two Grammy Awards and he won one out of these in the year 1996.
Lupu also won other prestigious awards like Edison Award in 1995, the Franco Abbiati Prize in 1989, and the Premio Internazionale Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli award in 2006.
Social Media flooded with tributes
After the news of Lupu’s death was made public, tributes started pouring in on social media from fellow pianists like Igor Levit, Kirill Gerstein, Vikingur Olafsson, Lars Vogt, Gabriela Montero, and Stewart Goodyear.
I just heard the extremely sad news about Radu Lupu’s passing. Lupu brought a lot of lasting beauty to our world. May he rest in peace in the company of Mozart and Schubert. https://t.co/WgpjRb3yWG
— Víkingur Ólafsson (@VikingurMusic) April 18, 2022
The Cliburn which promotes the finest talent in classical music worldwide remembered him on Twitter saying, “The world has lost one of the greatest pianists of our age. The Cliburn joins our international classical music community in mourning the loss of Radu Lupu. We share with you his Chopin Ballade No. 1, played just after he was named gold medalist of 2nd Cliburn Competition (1966).”
The world has lost one of the greatest pianists of our age. The Cliburn joins our international classical music community in mourning the loss of Radu Lupu. We share with you his Chopin Ballade No. 1, played just after he was named gold medalist of 2nd Cliburn Competition (1966). pic.twitter.com/waeeMOuSnw
— The Cliburn (@TheCliburn) April 18, 2022
Steven Isserlis, a British cellist tweeted, “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/s4X4qeXRTz
— Steven Isserlis (@StevenIsserlis) April 18, 2022
As the world loses the legendary pianist, may his soul rest in peace!