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In Memoriam Radu Lupu 

The team of George Enescu International Festival and Competition is deeply saddened to announce the death of Maestro Radu Lupu, one of the greatest pianists of our times.

One of the most important musicians of his generation, Radu Lupu was born in Galați (România) on November 30, 1945, and he began piano lessons at age 6 with Lia Busuioceanu.

At the age of 12, he made his public debut with a complete programme of his own music. He continued his studies for several years with Florica Musicescu and Cella Delavrancea before winning a scholarship in 1961 to the Moscow Conservatoire where he studied with Galina Eghyazarova, Heinrich Neuhaus, and later Stanislav Neuhaus. He won the first prize in the three major piano competitions of present times: the 1966 Van Cliburn, the 1967 Enescu International, and the 1969 Leeds International.

The incredible Romanian pianist and composer won, in 1967, the grand prize of the George Enescu International Competition, remaining one of the greatest winners of this competition to this day.

His recordings for Decca include the Beethoven Piano Concertos, Brahms Concerto No 1, Grieg and Schumann Concertos, the complete Mozart Violin and Piano Sonatas with Szymon Goldberg, Debussy and Franck Violin and Piano Sonatas with Kyung Wha Chung, and solo works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann and Schubert.

In 1995 he won 2 awards in the category “Best Instrumental Record of the Year”: a Grammy for Schubert’s Sonatas in A major D664 and B flat major D960, and an Edison Award for Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana and Humoresque. He has also made two records with Murray Perahia (CBS), two albums of Schubert Lieder with Barbara Hendricks (EMI), and a disc of pieces for four hands by Schubert with Daniel Barenboim (Teldec).

Radu Lupu has performed with all the great orchestras and in all major festivals and music capitals of the world. His performances have always impressed with their sensitivity and depth, bringing emotion to any performance hall. He was a kind and modest musician, with rare media appearances and a special sense of how to create and recreate music on stage.

2013 was the year in which Radu Lupu appeared for the last time on the George Enescu International Festival stage, alongside conductor Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin Orchestra. The concert was an incredible reunion between two of the most appreciated musicians in the world, a rare appearance of the maestro Lupu that we were able to enjoy in an astonishing atmosphere.

In 2016, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom appointed Romanian pianist Radu Lupu, as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) title for his “services to music”.

He had retired from public performances in 2019 due to his health conditions.

Radu Lupu died on April 17, 2022, at age 76, at his home in Switzerland.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of our times, he has always been a great ambassador of classical music and of Romania. Radu Lupu will remain an inspiration both to musicians around the world and to every classical music lover.

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. Maestro Radu Lupu will remain forever in our memory and our hearts: a true legend.