Obituary: Pianist & Conductor Lars Vogt Dies at 51

By Francisco Salazar

German pianist and conductor Lars Vogt has died at the age of 51.

According to his management Askonas Holt, Vogt, who was diagnosed with cancer in February 2021, died on Sept. 5, 2022  peacefully surrounded by family.

Vogt was born in the German town of Düren in 1970 and he first came to public attention when he won second prize at the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition. He went on to become an international pianist performing the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninov as well as 20th Century works by the likes of Lutosławski, among others.

Alongside his work as a pianist, he became a conductor and was named Music Director of Orchestre de Chambre de Paris in July 2020.

He also curated his own series with the orchestra in Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Pierre Boulez Salle during the 2021-22 season and continued his partnership with the Royal Northern Sinfonia (RNS) as a Principal Artistic Partner.

Vogt was set to be an Artist in Residence with Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern both as conductor and pianist this season.

Throughout his career he worked with major orchestras including the Zürcher Kammerorchester, Camerata Salzburg, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Niedersächsische Staatsorchester Hannover, Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Berliner Philharmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Staatskapelle Dresden, Wiener Philharmoniker, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony. He also collaborated with major conductors like Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, Mariss Jansons, Paavo Järvi, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Jurowski and Robin Ticciati.

Vogt also formed partnerships with such singers as Thomas Quasthoff, Ian Bostridge, and Julian Pregardian performing in recitals around the world.

Aside from his performing career, he founded his own chamber festival in the village of Heimbach near Cologne in 1998 and was a major promoter of education founding a program Rhapsody in School which brings his colleagues to schools across Germany and Austria. In 2013 he was appointed Professor of Piano at the Hannover Conservatory of Music, succeeding Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, his former teacher and close friend.

He left an immense discography on Ondine and recorded many works by Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, and many more. He also won awards such as the Opus-Klassik and was nominated for the Grammy.