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Pianist Joseph Kalichstein has Died, Age 76


Known to those close to him as "Yossi," pianist Joseph Kalichstein was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1946. He first studied in Israel with Joshua Shor, going on to receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Edward Steuermann and Ilona Kabos. In the summer of 1969, he studied with Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Earlier in his career, he won the Leventritt International Piano Competition and the Young Concert Artists Auditions, resulting in a heralded New York recital debut. This was followed by an invitation from Leonard Bernstein to perform with the New York Philharmonic in a nationally televised performance.

As a chamber musician, he was a founding member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio in 1977, with violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinso. In addition to frequently guest playing with the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, he served as a chamber music consultant to the Kennedy Center and artistic director of the institution's Fortas Chamber Music Concerts.

As an educator, Kalichstein was a piano faculty member at Juilliard since 1983, and in 2003, became the inaugural Edwin S. and Nancy A. Marks Chair in Chamber Music Studies. He was also an artist-faculty member at the Perlman Music Program and a jury member of the Cliburn Competition.

His solo performance career was also revered, having appeared with many of the world’s top orchestras — including the Berlin, London, Boston, and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and London Symphony. Kalichstein made regular appearances at the La Jolla, Aspen, Ravinia, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, and Verbier summer festivals.

His discography is also quite extensive, having recorded for Audiofon, Erato, Koch International, Nimbus, RCA, and Vanguard.

Many prominent voices in the industry expressed their grief over the news.

"We are devastated by the passing of our beloved colleague, Joseph Kalichstein," write Sharon Robinson and Jaime Laredo. "Every concert over the past 45 years together has been a special musical experience for each of us. We learned so much from this musical giant. We were blessed to play and record so much of the trio repertoire, and to commission many great new works for piano trio. Right now it feels like LIFE will never be the same for us."

"My dear friend and colleague Joseph Kalichstein passed away today," conductor Leonard Slatkin said. "Ever since our days as students at Juilliard, we remained close. His brilliance as a musician was only surpassed by his genuine humanity and compassion for others. If ever the word 'mensch' applied to anyone, it was Yossi. This is a tremendous loss for all of us."

"The world lost a great musician and I lost a dear friend," violinist Cho-Liang Lin said. "I will miss him very much. RIP, Yossi."

"Our thoughts are with Yossi’s wife, Rowain, and his family as well as his students and his many other colleagues and friends," the Juilliard School released in a statement. "He won equal praise as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, and he will be remembered for his exemplary teaching, collaborative spirit, quick wit, and unfailing positivity."

Our condolences to Mr. Kalichstein's family, friends, students, and colleagues.


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