Gergiev pianist is found dead

Gergiev pianist is found dead


norman lebrecht

December 30, 2018

Alexander Markovich, pianist of the Mariinsky Theater, has been found dead in a Moscow hotel.

There has been no  statement on the Mariinsky site.

Markovich, who was 54, migrated to Israel in 1990, where he performed with Ida Haendel, Repin, Vengerov, David Garrett and other leading soloists.

Neeme Jarvi booked him for concertos in Detroit and Gothenburg and Zubin Mehta invited him to Munich. He made recordings for DG, Teldec and Erato.

He fulfilled extensive international appearances before returning to Russia, where he developed a series of ‘opera improvisations’ at the Mariinsky. Cause of death has yet to be made known.

UPDATE: Friends inform us that he had a long history of heart disease.


  • esfir ross says:

    RIP. AM was outstanding pianist, played under baton of W.Jurovsky, Neeme Jarvi, Zubin Metha. I have score of his transcription of Shostakovich “Katerina Ismailova” for piano. Great lost for piano music.

  • Learning about this today it doesn’t lighten my New Year’s Eve. I’ve been a longtime friend of Alexander and we met every month or two for a tea in town (he lived here in Hamburg, but had just recently bought a small flat in St.Petersburg with money he had inherited from his father). I spoke to Alexander the day before he left for St P to tell him I couldn’t meet him as arranged with some made-up excuse, as I really had some pre-Xmas jobs to do around the house. I now have a guilty conscience.
    A beautiful mind in a not quite so perfect body – he was greatly overweight and I think his appearance stymied his career. Maybe that is the cynical recording company producer in me coming through… Alexander knew everyone and everything, especially knowledgeable about the Soviet music scene of the ’50s-’70s, mainly through his father and mother. The latter is still alive and teaching piano in Hamburg.
    Alexander was a fine pianist and musician, well-liked and I will miss his telephone calls.

  • Carlos Castro says:

    Wow… nice and lovely guy..; He came to Santiago/Chile in two times last 5 years, to play with our Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. I’m the stage manager here and we made friendship some weeks..two times…he was one of the best piano solist playing with us, a great person and simple man, i’m really sad and far heart is with him.

  • MacroV says:

    I heard him play in Moscow – the Shostakovich 1st concerto, IIRC – about a dozen years ago. He was terrific, but given the large number of great pianists I heard in Moscow, I did wonder how the music world was going to absorb them all. I’m glad he was working, but saddened to hear of his very premature death.