Distinguished pianist dies of heart attack, aged 46

Distinguished pianist dies of heart attack, aged 46


norman lebrecht

May 27, 2016

We regret to share news of the sudden death of Joel Hastings, winner of the 1993 International Bach Competition in Washington DC.

Canadian born, Joel toured internationally as a soloist and taught at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Our thoughts are with his family.

joel hastings


  • Sue says:

    Oh, that’s just simply dreadful. Terrible. So young.

  • Dmitry Rachmanov says:

    Expressing my deep condolences to Joel’s family, his loved ones and to all his colleagues! What a tragedy of an untimely departure of one so generously gifted pianist, musician and human being! RIP!

  • B.K. says:


  • David says:

    A tragic and shocking loss — my condolences goes to his wife and family, not to mention his students at FSU. Joel was a fine pianist and very kind and supportive teacher and am sure his studio is devastated. He will be a hard colleague to replace on their faculty.

  • Alexander Platt says:

    I had worked with Joel, during my days in Racine…..a lovely guy. Horrible.

  • Kevin Simone says:

    I’m from the town where he was born. So many of us were proud of his accomplishments. Very sad to hear of this….far too young to be gone from us.

  • Sophia Gilmson says:

    I am so terribly sorry. A wonderful musician and a warm lovely person. My most profound condolences to his family.

  • Tyrone Boyle says:

    I only got to know Joel when he came to our inaugural opening of the American Franz Liszt Chapter in Columbus, Ohio last year. What a wonderful guy, brilliant pianist, and wonderful human being! He will be missed! RIP, Joel!

  • MJ says:

    From one aficionado, to honor another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyF-VleZXJQ

    Joel was a great pianist, thinker and friend who will be sorely missed.

  • Jo Kotchie says:

    So beautifully played …. this is very sad news … sincere condolences to Joel’s family.

  • I can’t claim closer friendship than exchanging greetings and sharing conversations with Joel and his delightful wife but I have been deeply enriched by his intelligence and humor; his kind, gentle manner and, oh so much, by his and their music which they generously shared with all of us at church. It’s hard not to be a little irritated with God for depriving us of him. He leaves a hole no one else will be able fill as well. I already miss him.

  • Nancy Lee Harper says:

    So very sorry to hear about the loss of such a gifted pianist and fine human being. Prayers and condolences to his family and loved ones.

  • David Tryggestad says:

    I encountered Joel in his engaging performances of Sweelink. I am so very sorry.