November 30, 1945 |
Radu Lupu (born November 30, 1945) is a Romanian concert pianist. He is the winner of three of the most prestigious awards in the field of classical piano, the George Enescu International Piano Competition, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Leeds International Pianoforte Competition.
Lupu was born in a Romanian-Jewish family in Galați, Romania, the son of Meyer Lupu, an attorney, and Ana Gabor, a linguist. He began piano studies in 1951, as a six-year-old, with Lia Busuioceanu, making his public debut in 1957, at age 12, in a concert featuring his own compositions. After completing high school in Galați, and graduating from the Popular School for the Arts in Brașov, where he studied harmony and counterpoint with Victor Bickerich, Lupu continued his piano studies at the Bucharest Conservatory (1959-1961) with Florica Musicescu (who also taught Dinu Lipatti), and Cella Delavrancea, studying also composition with Dragos Alexandrescu. At the age of 16, in 1961, he was awarded a scholarship to the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, where he studied with Galina Eguiazarova (a pupil of Alexander Goldenweiser), Heinrich Neuhaus (who also taught Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels), and Stanislav Neuhaus, graduating in 1969, at age 24. 
Concerts and recordings
Lupu's concert appearances and recordings for Decca, though not frequent, consisting of a limited repertoire, have been consistently acclaimed. Although trained in the Russian pianistic tradition, he is particularly noted for his interpretations of the great 19th century German and Austrian composers, especially Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the 18th century. He is also noted for performances of works by the Czech Leoš Janáček, and the Hungarian Béla Bartók.
Lupu made his American debut in 1972 with the Cleveland Orchestra, with Daniel Barenboim conducting in New York City, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with Carlo Maria Giulini conducting. Whilst Lupu has performed with all of the major orchestras of the world and at major music festivals, he is a somewhat reclusive figure. He has regularly refused to grant interviews to journalists for over 30 years. In one rare published interview, originally from 1991, Lupu expressed his philosophy of music-making as follows:
Everyone tells a story differently, and that story should be told compellingly and spontaneously. If it is not compelling and convincing, it is without value.
In his concert performances, Lupu does not use a piano bench, but instead an office chair. Lupu has participated in notable chamber music partnerships with, among others, the violinist Szymon Goldberg, the soprano Barbara Hendricks, and his fellow pianist, Murray Perahia.
Awards and prizes
- 1966. First Prize in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
- 1967. First Prize in the George Enescu International Piano Competition.
- 1969. First Prize in the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition.
- 1989. Abbiati prize awarded by the Italian Critics' Association.
- 1995. Edison Award for Schumann: Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana and Humoresque
- 1996. Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance for Schubert: Piano Sonatas (B Flat Major and A Major).
- 2006. Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli prize.
- Radu Lupu - Biography, at Decca
- Radu Lupu, piano, at the San Francisco Symphony
- Radu Lupu discography at Internazionale
- Musicianguide.com - biography