Austrian cellist, conductor Heinrich Schiff dies
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Austrian cellist and conductor ‘s death was announced yesterday morning, having died overnight. He was 65.
Born inin 1951, Schiff made his orchestral début in 1971. His 1978 recording début earned him an Artist of the Year award at the . After achieving worldwide acclaim he retired as a soloist in 2012 following a 2008 stroke, becoming a conductor instead. He had already been taking conducting jobs as a sideline from the late 1980s.
Schiff studied at the Vienna‘s ., and conducting roles included with the , the , the , the , and the . Instructing jobs included at the , the , the , and
Schiff complained in 1988 classical music was “very much mistreated” by contemporary artists. “Take the Mozart violin concertos,” he said. “If you hear any of the top ten violinists playing them it’s beautiful sound, fine technique, but the style is hopelessly wrong — it’s almost a different language.”
Fellow cellistsaid last year Schiff credited the music of Bach with his recovery following the 2008 stroke. “He looked at me, and said quietly: ‘Bach saved my life'”, Isserlis said. “I asked him what he meant and he told me that a few years ago, he had a serious stroke, and was in danger of losing all mobility on his left side. As soon as he got to hospital, and realised what was happening, he started (almost instinctively, I imagine) to go through the fingerings of the Prelude to Bach’s first suite, moving his fingers ceaselessly to the imaginary music. He did this for about 20 hours a day, he thinks; and gradually his whole body came back to life, powered by those fingerings.” Isserlis lamented the “terrible, terrible” loss of a “person with a core of true goodness and humanity; and a wonderfully serious, genuine musician”.
Schiff died early yesterday morning in a Vienna hospital.
- Cellist Heinrich Schiff dies, age 65” — , December 23, 2016 . “
- Kevin Rawlinson. “World-renowned cellist Heinrich Schiff dies in Vienna” — , December 23, 2016
- Daniel Ross. “We’ve just lost the cellist who gave us this unbelievable performance” — , December 23, 2016