Pianist José Feghali, Van Cliburn winner in 1985, dead at 53

Posted on: December 11, 2014

“José Feghali, who had a major career as a concert pianist and teacher, died Tuesday at his home. He was 53. The cause of death was suicide from a gunshot wound, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office,” reports Scott Cantrell in Wednesday’s (12/10) Dallas Morning News (Texas). “The Brazilian native, trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, won the gold medal and the chamber music prize in the 1985 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Since 1990 he had been artist-in-residence at Texas Christian University’s School of Music, more recently also serving as its coordinator of Internet technologies…. Richard Gipson, director of the School of Music, said, … ‘Not many people understood how phenomenal a teacher he was—very insightful, very good at analyzing student issues, finding creative pathways for them.’ … Beyond music, Feghali was also an avid storm chaser and amateur radio operator. Andres Franco, who studied piano with Feghali before pursuing conducting and becoming assistant conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony, said, ‘He always demanded the utmost respect for the score—and had an amazing ear that would detect the slightest deviation from it—but he also asked to go beyond the printed notes and make music.’ ”

Posted December 11, 2014