deaths of Lupu, Angelich and Birtwistle | Dark weekend for classical music

(Paris) The world of classical music experienced a dark Easter weekend, marked by the sudden death of two great names on the piano, Radu Lupu and Nicholas Angelich, and composer Harrison Birtwistle.

Posted on April 19

“What an incredibly sad day in the world of music,” Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen tweeted on Monday night after the deaths of the three men were announced.

“Three musical giants have passed away […] There are no more words”, added, also on Twitter, the German pianist Igor Levit.

Died at the age of 76, the Romanian pianist Radu Lupu was a legend of his instrument and marked generations of listeners with his sensitive and delicate interpretations of Schumann, Brahms, Schubert or Beethoven.

According to Swiss and Romanian media, he died in Lausanne on Sunday after a long illness.

With disheveled hair and a bushy beard, the musician, who played sitting on a chair with a back and not on a stool, was a perfectionist and discreet.

He had been on the run from the studios since the 1990s and ended his career at the end of the 2018/2019 season for health reasons.

American Nicholas Angelich, who died in Paris at the age of 51, was considered one of the most brilliant pianists of his generation.


PHOTO GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ARCHIVE

Nicholas Angelich

“Bright”

He was a great interpreter of the piano works of Beethoven, Brahms and Liszt, but also composers of the 20th century.Y century, including Messiaen, Stockhausen, Boulez or Bruno Mantovani.

The Orchester Métropolitain de Montréal reacted on Twitter mentioning its great sadness at the departure of a close collaborator and friend and offering its condolences to his loved ones.

“Like your sound, you were bright and tender at the same time […] I will never play a note of Brahms again without being close to you,” French violinist Renaud Capuçon tweeted.

Nicholas Angelich had suffered from a respiratory illness that had kept him away from the stage since June 2021, his agent, Jacques Thelen, said in announcing his death.

Finally, Harrison Birtwistle, who has died aged 87, was one of Britain’s leading contemporary music composers, his work ranging from chamber music to opera.


PHOTO SIGI TISCHLER, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

harrison birtwistle

He died at his home in Mere, southwest England, his publisher, Boosey & Hawkesn, announced on Monday.

Birtwistle had composed his first opera, punch and judyin the late 1960s. Among his greatest hits were Gawaine Y the mask of orpheus.

In 1975 he was appointed Music Director of the fledgling Royal National Theater in London, a position he held until 1983.

While he is unanimously recognized as innovative, his uncompromising and dissonant style has also at times divided critics and audiences alike.

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