One pianist to another: Kirill Gerstein’s birthday tribute to Radu Lupu

Posted on: December 4, 2015

“For the past two decades, the Romanian pianist Radu Lupu has chosen not to record any music. He does not allow radio broadcasts of his playing, he does not give press interviews, and he has almost no social media presence,” writes pianist Kirill Gerstein in Monday’s (11/30) New York Review of Books. “This had made his performances all the more prized. Lupu, who turns seventy on November 30, is far more than a great pianist…. In a rare interview from 1992, Lupu describes his expectations of musical performance: … ‘Everyone tells a story differently, and that story should be told compellingly and spontaneously.…’ This was the impression I got from hearing Lupu play Brahms’ First Piano Concerto in 2002 [at] Carnegie Hall, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim conducting…. It gave the illusion of being composed there on the stage—once again fresh, newly original, daring.… I find it uplifting simply to contemplate that, in an age when so many musicians feel compelled to spend much of their time engaged in social media and self-promotion, there exist such islands as Radu Lupu.” To mark Lupu’s 70th birthday, Decca has released Radu Lupu: Complete Recordings.

Posted December 4, 2015