Chopin pianist de Waal dies

27th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch pianist Rian de Waal has died, aged 53, following several years of illness.

The virtuoso achieved his breakthrough in the international piano circuit after winning the Belgian Queen Elizabeth competition in 1983.

He was particularly celebrated as a Liszt and Chopin specialist. De Waal combined his work as a performer with teaching at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

He was also artistic director of the Peter the Great classical music festival, held every summer in the northern city of Groningen. The festival also features a special academy for young, talented singers, pianists, clarinettists and string instrumentalists.

De Waal’s family announced on Thursday that the pianist had died the day before. He will be laid to rest at a private service next Wednesday.

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