Obituary: Mihaela Ursuleasa, pianist

Charlotte Smith7th Aug 2012
Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa has died at the age of 33 (photo: Julia WeselRomanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa has died at the age of 33 (photo: Julia Wesely)

The Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa has died, aged 33 - the same age as her great compatriot Dinu Lipatti. A musician of great talent, a major career lay ahead of her. Her gift was spotted early by musicians of the calibre of Radu Lupu and Claudio Abbado, who recommended she move to Vienna to study. There she worked with Professor Heinz Medjimorec. In 1995, aged 16, she won the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Switzerland, and later performed with Abbado and the Gustav Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

During her 15-year career, she appeared internationally, with engagements at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and New York's Carnegie Hall – in the UK she played with the CBSO and Andris Nelsons and with the Belcea Quartet – and was a regular musical partner of the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja (with whom she appeared at the Dresden Music Festival earlier this year) and the cellist Sol Gabetta.

She made two solo recordings: 'Piano & Forte' and 'Romanian Rhapsody', both for Berlin Classics and she makes a guest appearance on her friend Sol Gabetta's 'Cantabile' album for RCA Red Seal.

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