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Renowned classical pianist and conductor Lars Vogt has died at 51

Pianist and conductor Lars Vogt has died at age 51. He had cancer.
Gioriga Bertazzi
/
Askonas Holt
Pianist and conductor Lars Vogt has died at age 51. He had cancer.

The classical music world is mourning the death of pianist and conductor Lars Vogt who died Sept. 5. According to his representatives, Vogt died "surrounded by his family after a battle with cancer."

Born in Duren, Germany, in 1970, Vogt's career soared after he won second prize at the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition. He went on to perform as a solo artist with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra. He was a guest conductor for numerous orchestras. In 2020, he became music director of Orchestre de chambre de Paris.

As an educator, Vogt founded Rhapsody in School, an initiative to bring classical performers into classrooms throughout Germany and Austria.

"The musical world is devastated by the passing of the wonderful pianist and friend," tweeted Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, "Just days ago, we were texting each other hoping to meet. I wish we'd had the time. Tonight, we listened to him, keeping him in our hearts. We'll never forget you, dear Lars. "

"Music is such an amazing thing," Vogt told pianist Zsolt Bognár on his program Living The Classical Life, "In music, you get transported into this world where you forget everything."

Bognár started a fundraiser for Vogt's family.

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Elizabeth Blair is a Peabody Award-winning senior producer/reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.