An alternative cause of a diva’s death

An alternative cause of a diva’s death


norman lebrecht

October 25, 2021

No sooner did the New York Times report that Edita Gruberova died of a head injury following a fall at home, a cause that was submitted by ‘her biographer’, than there was an instant response on Twitter from another biographer, Niel Rishoi.

He tweeted back:

‘I am her biographer, too. I have it from a very reliable source that Edita’s fall was preceded by a fatal cardiac arrest or stroke. The death was not from a head injury.’

This is distressing, and surely avoidable. The NY Times needs to take more care with its sources.

UPDATE: Neil Rishoi subsequently informs us: ‘I deleted the tweet because the facts still are not clear. ‘

The cremation will be private, her management says, but you can send flowers:

Die Beerdigung von Edita Gruberova wird in aller Stille im engsten Familienkreis stattfinden. Es gibt kein Kondolenzbuch, aber Blumen können von heute an bis Dienstag an folgende Adresse gesendet werden:

Blumenspenden sind prinzipiell möglich, aber man bittet sehr, sie vom Volumen her eher klein zu halten, weil der Aufbahrungsraum sehr klein ist und es dann zu Problemen für die Besucher kommen könnte. Man bittet, keine Kränze zu senden, denn die nehmen zumeist viel Platz ein. Es sollte so adressiert werden:

Krematorium Nordheim
für Edita Gruberova
Käferholzstrasse 101
8046 Zürich



  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    Since when has the third-hand opinion of ‘biographers’ warranted an iota of credibility?
    What was the conclusion of doctors or paramedics called to the scene?
    Even though the Swiss are notoriously obsessed with banking secrecy, the correct cause of death of a world-famous soprano who happened to be resident in Zürich hardly justifies obfuscation or concealment.

  • James Weiss says:

    It’s quite possible that both sources are correct. The stroke or heart attack could have occurred followed by the fall. I am remembering the death of Princess Grace. First reports were that she had had a fatal car accident and it wasn’t until later that it emerged that she had had a stroke which caused the fatal car accident. So both the stroke and the accident were causes of death. Just a possibility in Ms. Gruberova’s case as well.

    • Peggy says:

      Just to clear up the Princess Grace analogy. Her daughter was driving the car so a stroke affecting the passenger was unlikely to “cause” a fatal accident.

  • Paganono says:

    Whatever… The poor woman is dead, so let her rest in peace! Geez…

  • David A says:

    Norman talking about credibility of sources…the best joke of the day! He only proves himself incredible when he somehow decides to take the side of the “other biographer” instead of the one NY Times referred to, and proceeds to shame NY Times….The level of hypocrisy and the fact that he cannot see that is bewildering to be honest.