Eminent pianist cancels due to prostate cancer

Eminent pianist cancels due to prostate cancer


norman lebrecht

August 08, 2016

Andre Watts has cancelled the Philadelphia Orchestra before, but this time he has a serious cause. He was diagnosed three weeks ago with prostate cancer.

‘It’s Andre’s wish that we be straight about that,’ said his manager Linda Marder.

Andre, 70, got his career break in 1963 when Leonard Bernstein asked him to step in at Carnegie Hall for a cancelling Glenn Gould. He went on to make numerous recordings for Gould’s label, CBS.

He has enjoyed a prolific concert career and is professor at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Andre Watts 2 - Courtesy of Indiana University

The Philadelphia Orchestra have called in Lukas Vondracek, winner of the Queen Elisabeth prize, to take over Rachmaninov’s third concerto.


  • Rosana Martins says:

    He is a lovely person and I wish him a quick recovery.

  • Greg from SF says:

    I’m shocked and dismayed. The recital of his I attended in SF a few years back was one of the finest I have ever attended. Such musicality, such technique, such strength, such communicative power! And such a wonderful relaxed rapport with the audience. Unforgettable.
    I’ve said ever since that the only two instances I’ve ever witnessed of the 9-foot concert grand being too small for the musician – technique-wise and personality-wise – were Andre Watts and Oscar Peterson. (I never heard Richter in person.)
    Good luck, Mr. Watts, and get well soon!

    • Andrew Kennaugh says:

      Yes,Richter created that effect too.I regret not having heard Andre Watts live although I’ve followed his career ever since he played Brahms 2nd at the BBC Proms in 1972.A complete master.

  • Sue says:

    He has much to hope for because Prostate cancer treatment is fairly advanced these days. All depends on the ‘stage’ of the disease, I guess. I wish him well.

  • Suzanne Laplante says:

    My husband and I wish Mr Watts a full recovery. We hope to see him ar SPAC in the future.