Russian piano legend dies, 77

Russian piano legend dies, 77


norman lebrecht

January 31, 2023

The exceptional Evgeny Mogilevsky, winner of the 1964 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, has died suddenly.

His competition triumph atb 18 saw him bracketed with Gilels and Ashkenazy, the two previous Soviet winners. He toured the US for a while as a Sol Hurok artist before retiring in 1992 to teach at the Brussels Conservatoire.

He was a pianist’s pianist.


  • Aleksander says:

    I was at his recitals in Poland. Absolutely gripping.
    Mogilevski was a giant.
    His departure is a devastating news for me.
    The last legendary pianist of the golden era of russian pianists ?
    There were times when many thought Russia could be the world beacon of great art, great musicians and not cruel invaders as it is now.

  • Meal says:

    I am shocked. He has been less known in recent years – at least in my perception – outside Belgium, Russia and the pianist world than he deserves. He has had a lasting influence and impact on many pianists. His thoroughly musical soul will live on through these pianists. We have a lot to thank him for. My thoughts are with his loved ones.

    • Jobim75 says:

      Maybe he was not recorded enough or promoted by Melodyia, or there was a political ban of some sort, curious to know more about this artist…

  • Meir Minsky says:

    Excellent pianist and extraordinary human being. He will be greatly missed.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Whatever happened to Mogilevsky after his brilliant success in Brussels? I once saw him- amongst the jury for the London International piano competition decades back. A prodigious pianist who maybe didn’t seek the limelight- maybe content to combine a performing career with that of teacher. Nothing wrong with that & quite a few other immense talents in that vein.

    • Ara says:

      He was gravely sick for good many years and was living in Brooklyn NY. His wife Olga continued teaching his students instead.

      • Victor Yampolsky says:

        Dear Ara,

        would you mind relating to Olga Mogilevsky my condolences. I was violinist with the Moscow Philharmonic when Evgeny returned from Brussels with Gold medal and recorded Rachmaninov’s 3d Piano concerto. Nobody played it better. Sorry!
        Victor Yampolsky

  • Evan Solomon says:

    I have his terrific recording of Rach #3 on the Melodiya label.

  • Mark Ainley says:

    I have extremely fond memories of the one time I heard and met him, at a festival in Montreal in 1989, when he appeared at the opening gala concert with Tatiana Nikolaeva and Idil Biret. At the reception he was extraordinarily warm and gracious: there I was in my late teens, not dressed in a tux like many at the gala, and he shook hands and gave such a warm hello and greeting with his full focus and attention. He spoke virtually no English but I will always remember that incredible depth and humility of that exchange, a humanity that also permeated his playing. Very sad to hear of his passing.

  • Nina says:

    Outstanding performance. Didn’t know he has died recently. He was a student of my teachers’ professor. Rest in peace.


    Mogilevsky recorded the Liszt/Busoni ‘Ad Nos Ad Salutarem Undam’. a massive work originally written for organ, pedalier (Liszt owned one of the very few, as did Alkan,) and finally rearranged for a normal concert piano by Busoni. For many years it might have been the only recording of this huge work. In this century it’s since been recorded by others, most recently by Igor Levit.

  • Genrieta Suvorovsky says:

    Evgeni was the great concert pianist from the very beginning of his musical career. He was extraordinary person and genius pianist! I feel sorry for family lost as well as the world lost for pianist highly class!

  • Ara says:

    Suddenly? He was on life support for last 2 -3 years and had Alzheimer for a decade!