Blood on the keyboard after LSO Bartok concert

Blood on the keyboard after LSO Bartok concert


norman lebrecht

October 14, 2015

The London Symphony Orchestra has posted this photo of the Vienna Konzerthaus piano.

It was taken last night by first violinist Rhys Watkins during the concert interval, after Yefim Bronfman had performed the third Bartók concerto.

bloody steinway

The soloist gave his life’s blood…

bloody steinway

UPDATE: Bronfman told LSO violinist Maxine Kwok-Adams that there was also blood on the floor.

Blut und Boden….

2nd UPDATE from the LSO: Mr Bronfman cut his finger and received treatment earlier in the day. He insisted on going ahead with his performance rather than disappoint the audience. During the concerto his wound reopened but, undaunted, he gave a superb performance and also a sublime encore.


  • ilio says:

    how does one clean and disinfect a piano without damaging it?

  • John Borstlap says:

    I don’t think such fortes are written in the score.

  • Patrick says:

    What is the source for this photo? I can’t find it anywhere.

  • CA says:

    Why would it ever be necessary for anyone to strike the keys so hard that their hands start to bleed? Ridiculous! Not to mention the harm they are likely doing to their joints…..

  • Emily G. says:

    I’m kind of morbidly curious as to why this seems to keep happening.

  • Mike says:

    Oh, enough with the blood on the keyboard trend. As if we don’t have enough reality TV kitsch in the classical music, now we have to suffer this silly trend as well….

  • Wolfgang Schaufler says:

    it was Bartóks concerto Nr. 2 Sz 95 (1930-1931) … much more dangerous than the 3rd one!

  • Wolfgang Schaufler says:

    my fault: it was Nr 3 … they played two programs.

    maybe it was nose bleeding?

  • Simon Evnine says:

    The first or second concerto both have enough wildness to cause bleeding, but certainly not the third ! It’s a totally different kind of work.

  • Max Grimm says:

    “Blut und Boden….”
    What a half-witted witticism.

  • Keane Southard says:

    This is at least the second time it has happened this year, both times with Bartok!

  • avi kujman says:

    “Today more than ever, audiences mistake the excessively tense muscular activities of the performer for an intense musical experience, and all too often we see the public impressed and awed by convulsive distortions and spastic gyrations.”

    From one who knew his Bartok rather well…György Sándor

  • M2N2K says:

    Most of the comments above make absolutely no sense whatsoever when the post’s second update is taken into consideration.

  • Ronald Stein says:

    This episode reminded me that in 1940’s Ginette Neveau, the violinist drew blood whilst playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto, also with the LSO at the Cmbridge Theatre, I think. I managed to sketch her rehearsing there then.Sent Norman Lebrecht copy of that sketch.