Alexis Weissenberg (July 29, 1929 - January 8, 2012)

Although Mr. Weissenberg had been ill for some time, his death is no less sad nor shocking. I had the good fortune to have had a lesson with Mr. Weissenberg in the 1990s which was an experience I will never forget. He was a generous man (generous with his time, energy, money, art) to whom the sound of the piano was his own voice ... his language. His career was storied, legendary, and his playing was revered by so many. He played the piano with what was once called scientific clarity, could produce unthinkable volume "without ever losing the shimmering roundness of tone." - The New York Times. More and more of his once thought lost or forgotten recordings are again being reissued (thankfully) and more video of his performces is also becoming known and available. Most remarkable is his Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 in Paris with conductor Georges Pretre. I first saw and heard him in Cincinnati in a performance of the Third Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto with conductor Jesus Lopez Cobos. I have never been the same. I heard him again in an all-Schumann recital in Chicago, and met him many times after masterclasses. He always remembered me by name - not unusual for him. More than anything, he taught me (at my lesson, in masterclass, through interviews, and by his performances) to have faith and courage in my musical convictions; to trust my beliefs; and to always play the piano for the one person who may be listening to you because he MUST. I invite and encourage you to learn about the artistry of Alexis Weissenberg. RIP Maestro.

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