A second major pianist has just died, at 51

A second major pianist has just died, at 51


norman lebrecht

April 18, 2022

On the same day as Radu Lupu’s passing, news arrives of the death from a degenerative lung condition of the formidable American pianist Nicholas Angelich.

A student of Leon Fleisher, he made most of his career in France and western Europe. Martha Argerich was a keen admirer. He made numerous recordings for Warner. A gentle giant, he had the sweetest of smiles.

This is truly a black day for music.




  • Hmmb says:

    I listened to his wonderful Brahms CD (Op.76) this morning. I can’t believe!

    • Simon Scott says:

      A bummer of a day for music. Radu Lupu, Nicholas Angelich and the distinguished Portuguese cellist and desciple of Suggia, Madalena de Sa e Costa who left us this morning at the age of 106.

  • Rik says:

    Shocking news.

  • Frankster says:

    A huge figure in the French music scene and a breathtaking artist. A loss far too early.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Tragic. I cherish my memory of Angelich performing rhe Brahms 2nd, with the Boston Symphony under Kurt Masur. Sublime. As good as as it gets.

  • Tamra Fine says:

    Absolutely gutted by this news. Brilliant pianist, and a sweet and quirky man, gone much too soon.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    I heard Nicholas Angelich live in Boston performing Brahms’s 2nd Piano Concerto. If memory serves me correctly, he was a replacement for another pianist who cancelled, but I’m not positive of that. It was a TOWERING performance, and it stunned me because it was probably the best live performance I’ve ever heard of this masterpiece. Unfortunately the BSO never brought him back, and I have no idea why. Still, that one concert was special. I’m saddened by his loss, and send condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.

  • Tim says:

    A fine pianist who passed much, much too young. Rest in peace.

  • Menahem Pressler and Annabelle Weidenfeld says:

    Indeed a black day and a very great loss of a very dear friend, a wonderful companion at Musica Mundi and In Paris. He was a deeply admired and thoughtful pianist. How we will miss him and may he rest in peace.

  • Tom Varley says:

    Very sad news. I saw him perform the Saint-Saens “Egyptian” Concerto with Deneve and the Philadelphia Orchestra about 3-4 years ago. It was delightful and I hoped to see him perform again.

  • sandu PESTESI says:

    A tragic day … and loss to all …

  • Jobim75 says:

    Met him in Tower records Tokyo where he was giving a Brahms concerto. We had a good chat. A sensitive artist. Much too young.

  • amazonian says:

    Awfully sad news. Angelich played regularly in Brazil with the São Paulo State Symphony. A true friend of OSESP.
    I remember now a beautiful Schumann op. 44 Piano Quintet he played with the orchestra string quartet in the chamber music series. I hope there will be a memorial concert to him.

  • Victor Medem says:

    Devastated by the loss of a piano titan with a unique sound and one of the most honest artists in the music scene. He also was a wonderful person. For me, he was one of the greatest Brahms interpretes of all times in the footpath of Gelber, Backhaus and Solomon.
    At the Schubertíada Vilabertran, our festival, he was one of the most esteemed artists. We will greatly miss him. RIP.

  • Niva Yaron says:

    A very great loss. How tragic

  • Fernando says:

    Since one year ago so many people dying suddenly from heart or “degenerative” conditions which no one knew about one year earlier.

    • annmarie fuller says:

      I’m still grieving the sudden loss of Nelson Freire.

    • Wombat says:

      Everyone knows it but they don’t want to see the elephant in the room.
      Very sad news!

      • music lover says:

        Enlighten us,please!!!And don´t forget to readjust your 5 G chip.And don´t forget your daily dose of adenochrome and Clorox!

      • janet says:

        Wombat… Totally agree with your statement !. I have great hopes the TRUTH will finally emerge. When it does , as it MUST, millions of people with their heads buried in the sand will roar to life and know they have been played and will stand up to fight the perpetrators of the most heinous lie in human history. Heads will roll.

  • Richard Boyd says:

    I’m sorry to say I’d never heard of Nicholas Angelich before, but I’ve just watched his Brahms 1st PC on YouTube and it’s a very fine performance. My very favourite recording of this work is Daniel Barenboim with Barbirolli and NPO, and this certainly stands comparison with that performance.
    Condolences to all Angelich’s friends and fans.

  • FLiszt says:

    Was he a smoker? Can anyone say more about the disease he had? RIP great musician.

  • Michael Wilkinson says:

    An extraordinary pianist and lovely human being. I heard an extraordinary performance of Saint- Saens in Toulouse in 2010. Humanity and sensitivity shone through. Requiescat in pacis.