Performance Thursday, January 24, 2013 | 8 PM

Radu Lupu

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
If there’s one pianist who challenges you to hear classical music in a whole new way, it’s Radu Lupu. Since winning the Van Cliburn Competition in 1966, he’s gained a loyal following for his idiosyncratic interpretations that always explore the complex emotions behind the music. Expect nothing different on this recital, which includes music by Franck, Schubert, and Debussy.


  • Radu Lupu, Piano


  • SCHUBERT Four Impromptus, D. 935
  • FRANCK Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue
  • DEBUSSY Preludes, Book II

  • Encore:
  • DEBUSSY "Des Pas sur la neige" from Préludes, Book I



    Radu Lupu

    Radu Lupu is firmly established as one of the most important musicians of his generation. He is widely acknowledged as a leading interpreter of the works of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Schubert. Since winning the prestigious Van Cliburn (1966) and Leeds (1969) international competitions, Mr. Lupu has regularly performed as soloist and recitalist in the musical capitals and major festivals of Europe and the US. He has appeared many times with the Berliner Philharmoniker since his debut with that orchestra at the 1978 Salzburg Festival under Herbert von Karajan, and with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, including the opening concert of the 1986 Salzburg Festival under Riccardo Muti. He is also a frequent visitor to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and all of the major London orchestras.

    Mr. Lupu's first major American appearances were in 1972 with The Cleveland Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim in New York, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Carlo Maria Giulini. Concerts with the New York Philharmonic soon followed, and Mr. Lupu has since appeared with all of the foremost American orchestras.

    Mr. Lupu's engagements in the 2012-2013 season include concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis (for his 85th birthday celebrations), Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and Emmanuel Krivine, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and David Afkham, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti, St. Louis Symphony and David Robertson, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Christoph von Dohnányi, Orchestre de Paris and Thomas Hengelbrock, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Marek Janowski, and Orchestra Mozart Bologna and Claudio Abbado. He continues his cycle of the Beethoven piano concertos at the new concert hall in Helsinki with the Finnish Chamber Orchestra and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Recital appearances include performances in Paris, Geneva, Turin, and several cities in the US, as well as at the Aix-en-Provence, Vicenza, Brescia, and Bergamo festivals. In addition, he undertakes his 10th tour of Japan and also performs in Seoul, Korea.

    At the request of Sir Colin Davis, who celebrated his 80th birthday with the New York Philharmonic in 2007, Mr. Lupu appeared in a special series of concerts devoted to concertos of Mozart. Also during the 2006-2007 season, he performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco and St. Louis symphonies.

    Mr. Lupu has made more than 20 recordings for London/Decca, including the complete Beethoven concertos with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta, the complete Mozart violin-and-piano sonatas with Szymon Goldberg, and numerous solo recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert. His most recent London/Decca releases are of Schubert's sonatas, D. 960 and D. 664, which won a Grammy Award in 1995, and of Schumann's Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and Humoresque, which won an Edison Award in 1995. He has also made two recordings with pianist Murray Perahia (Sony Classical) and two albums of Schubert lieder with soprano Barbara Hendricks (EMI). In 1998, he joined Daniel Barenboim for a disc of Schubert works for piano four hands, released on the Teldec label. In 2001, Decca re-released a two-CD set of Schubert's music for violin and piano, featuring Mr. Lupu together with Szymon Goldberg.

    Born in Romania in 1945, Mr. Lupu began studying the piano at the age of six with Lia Busuioseanu. He made his public debut with a complete program of his own music at 12, continuing his studies for several years with Florica Muzicescu and Cella Delavrance. In 1961, he won a scholarship to the Moscow State Conservatory, where he studied with Heinrich Neuhaus and his son, Stanislav Neuhaus. During his seven years at the Moscow Conservatory, he won first prize in the 1967 Enescu International Competition in addition to the Van Cliburn and Leeds international competitions. In 1989 and again in 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Abbiati Prize given by the Italian Critics' Association. He is also the recipient of the 2006 Premio Internazionale Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli award.

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Schubert's Four Impromptus, Op. 142, (No. 4: Allegro scherzando)
Radu Lupu

At a Glance


FRANZ SCHUBERT  Four Impromptus, D. 935

As their name implies, these four impromptus, composed less than a year before Schubert's untimely death, share a spontaneous, improvisatory quality. Yet so deliberately did Schubert lay the set out that it has often been likened to a four-movement sonata. The lyrical theme-and-variations Impromptu No. 3 evokes the intimate, singing tone that contemporaries admired in the composer's piano playing.

CÉSAR FRANCK  Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue

Arguably the greatest of Franck's piano works, the Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue demonstrates his propensity for cyclical forms, diaphanous textures, and organic thematic development. An accomplished concert pianist in his early life, Franck was a master organist who mesmerized late-19th-century Parisian audiences with his elaborate improvisations.


Debussy and the revolutionary style of piano writing associated with "Debussyism" were well established in the public mind by the time his two sets of preludes appeared between 1910 and 1913. The dozen pieces in Book II illustrate the full range of his pianism, from the misty, opalescent textures of "Brouillards" and "La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune" to the sultry exoticism of "La puerta del vino" and the kaleidoscopic brilliance of "Feux d'artifice."

Program Notes
This performance is part of Great Artists I.