Death of Lars Vogt

07 Sep 2022

The Berliner Philharmoniker mourn the death of Lars Vogt, who has died shortly before his 52nd birthday after a serious illness. “In Lars Vogt we have lost a very special person and artist, who moved and inspired us again and again with his musicality, his modesty, curiosity, openness and humour. His unconditional commitment to music and life as well as his unwavering optimism were impressing,” said Eva-Maria Tomasi, violinist with the Berliner Philharmoniker and member of the orchestra's board, and general manager Andrea Zietzschmann.

Lars Vogt had a long-standing relationship with the Berliner Philharmoniker: his debut during the 2003 Salzburg Easter Festival under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle as the soloist in Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto impressed the audience with his intelligent, sensitive and emotional playing. In the 2003/04 season, he was the Berliner Philharmoniker’s first Pianist in Residence – and in this capacity demonstrated his artistic versatility not only as a soloist in orchestral concerts, but also as a sensitive chamber music partner in performances with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In the following years, Lars Vogt appeared in the Philharmoniker’s concerts playing Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn, but also participated in performances of rarely performed works, such as Paul Dessau’s cantata Les Voix for soprano, obbligato piano and orchestra. In 2009, he was the soloist in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto under the baton of Kirill Petrenko. As part of Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation events, the pianist last appeared in 2019 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra as the soloist in two Mozart concerts in the Chamber Music Hall and gave the audience an inspiring evening. A further appearance with the Berliner Philharmoniker was planned for the 2023/24 season.

Born in Düren, Germany, he launched his international career after winning second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1990. In addition to his solo work, he was also a conductor: from 2020, he was chief conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. Vogt caused a sensation with the chamber music festival he founded and directed, Spannungen: Musik im Kraftwerk Heimbach. In addition, he was a professor at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media from 2012, and initiated the school project “Rhapsody in School”, which has developed into a highly respected educational project.

Lars Vogt
(Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi)