Lars Vogt: ‘I love playing the piano but I prefer to be alive’

Lars Vogt: ‘I love playing the piano but I prefer to be alive’


norman lebrecht

August 14, 2022

The German pianist Lars Vogt was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer of the liver in March 2021.

‘I said to the doctors: I love playing the piano but I prefer to be alive,’ he tells Zsolt Bognar in an extraordinary episode of Living the Classical Life. ‘You lose some sensitivity in the tips of the fingers, but it comes back.’

‘I spend a lot of time with doctors, in hospitals, wondering how many months, years, I have to go…’


  • Amos says:

    An excellent performance of the Beethoven concerto #3 by pianist, orchestra and conductor and quite a testament to the power of music:

  • ML says:

    There’s also a lovely interview with him and it’s online, in Van magazine. I hope he is successful with his chemotherapy and treatments, even though the diagnosis is very grave. Wishing him and his family lots of luck and that he gets more time with his three children and his wife. He’s only 51; still so young.

  • Helge Antoni says:

    What a wonderfully inspiring interview ! Very moving and so deeply honest ! Heartfelt thanks to both Lars and Zsolt.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    A fine player and human being. All the best to Mr Vogt

  • David Hyslop says:

    Great artist and even greater person . All the best for his recovery

  • John Humphreys says:

    What a wonderful man – this interview leaves me close to tears.

  • soavemusica says:

    The interview starts with what seems to be his favourite encore, Brahms Walz, op. 39 no. 15. Most appealing, what a fine musician.

    I am sorry to hear his battles.

    In his interviews, for the worst case scenario, he allows himself to believe he will meet his loved ones, even though he doesn’t really think so. Why be so modest?

    MARK 9: 24 “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

  • Rodders says:

    I remember Mr Lars performing at Bridgewater Hall Manchester soloist in a Beethoven Concerto and he was outstanding. Sorry to hear about your ongoing predicament – but we have wonderful doctors these days and hope for a speedy recovery.
    Bravo Maestro….

  • Tim Cattermole says:

    One of the best!!!

  • Ana says:

    RIP dearest Lars…