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Radu Meets Ramsi

Radu Lupu

Enigmatic Romanian pianist performs in Ramsi P. Tick Concert Series

Radu Lupu, the very private, idiosyncratic, Romanian-born pianist, will make his long-delayed Buffalo concert debut at the next Ramsi P. Tick Concert Series event at the Flickinger Performing Arts Center on the Nichols School campus on Tuesday, February, 9, at 7:30pm.

Born in 1945, Radu Lupu studied piano in his native Romania, than at the Moscow Conservatory, beginning in 1961, where he studied with notated pedagogue Heinrich Neuhaus, whose pupils included Emil Gilels and Sviatoslav Richter. He also studied with the Italian pianist Maria Curcio, teacher of Barry Douglas and Mitsuko Uchida; Curcio was the favorite pupil of the Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel, one of the giants on the concert scene in the first half of the 20th century, whose lineage of piano teachers can be traced back to Beethoven himself. Curcio recalled in a 2001 interview that “Schnabel said to me—and I say to my pupils—that in art no compromise is possible,” advice that has shaped Radu Lupu’s entire career. He gained international recognition as the first prize winner at the Van Cliburn competition in 1966, the first of many major awards. Though initially trained in the Russian pianistic tradition, Lupu has long been known for performing a relatively small number of works in the Austro-German repertoire, though recently adding works by Debussy and Leos Janáček, whose atmospheric piece In the Mists opens Tuesday’s concert. Also on the program are Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Appassionata, and Schubert’s deeply moving final piano sonata, the Sonata in B-flat Major, D.960.

Granting only one interview in the last three decades, Lupu prefers to let his interpretation of the music speak for itself, usually with a slight bow providing his only non-musical interaction with the audience. Lupu has observed that “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.” Now living in Switzerland, Lupu concertizes mainly in Europe, and his Buffalo appearance is one of only five in the US this year.

This season, the R.P. Tick Series moved from its longtime home at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church to its new home at the Flickinger Center, and the verdict on the move is now in. The first concert on the series last December featured the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the audience experience at that exceptionally fine performance of the world-renowned group was enhanced by the superior acoustics, unobstructed sightlines, and comfortable seating of the Flickinger Center.

In order to keep administrative costs low, so as to ensure that the all-volunteer effort can fulfill its mission of bringing the finest internationally renowned classical music artists to Buffalo, tickets to the Tick series are sold on a subscription basis only; tickets are not sold to individual concerts. Tuesday’s event will be the last opportunity to buy a three-pack of tickets for the remaining concerts for $135; purchase of the package allows the use of all tickets for any particular concert event. In other words, if you are unable to attend a certain concert in the series, you can use that ticket to bring a guest to another of the remaining concerts. The last two concerts on the series will feature the rising young American violinist Jennifer Koh, along with pianist Shai Wosner playing a program of Mozart and Schubert on Tuesday, March 2, and the multiple Grammy Award-winning all-male vocal ensemble Chanticleer on Tuesday, April 6.

For more information please call 759-4778 or visit

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