The cellist enjoyed an international performing career encompassing a wide range of genres, and was professor of cello at the University of California since 2003


Antonio Lysy © John O’Malley

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The cellist and pedagogue Antonio Lysy has died after a brief and sudden illness. Lysy aimed to showcase the versatility of the cello’s voice, from Baroque to electric, performing in projects which illustrated his diverse interests in music.

Lysy was born in 1963 and was the son of violinist Alberto Lysy and Benedetta Origo. Alberto Lysy was born in Argentina to Ukrainian immigrants and went on to become the first South American artist to win a prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and subsequently studied with and assisted Yehudi Menuhin.

Antonio Lysy studied cello at the Menuhin School. He later embarked on an international performing career that saw him appear with Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras of London, Camerata Academica of Salzburg, Zurich Tonhalle, the Zagreb Soloists, Orchestra di Padova e il Veneto, Israel Sinfonietta, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Les Violions du Roi, and the Camerata Strumentale di Prato.

Lysy was the co-producer and director of the show Te Amo, Argentina, a personal journey through the heart and soul of Argentina’s culture, featuring solo cello and chamber works, dance, film, and spoken word. The show was based on Lysy’s album Antonio Lysy at the Broad - Music From Argentina, which won a Latin Grammy Award.

Lysy recorded extensively for CBC Radio, BBC Radio, Classic FM, and other European radio networks. He partnered with Yarlung Records in a record called South America, honouring Astor Piazzolla, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Gardel, his father Alberto Lysy, and Argentine bandoneon master Coco Trivisonno.

As an educator, Lysy was a professor at McGill University in Montréal for 15 years, as well as a visiting professor at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland for many years. He became professor of cello at the Herb Alpert School of Music, University of California, Los Angeles in 2003.

He founded the Incontri in Terra di Siena Chamber Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy, which was held annually since its inception in 1989. ’The loss of our faithful friend and extraordinary musician will leave an immense absence in our lives,’ the festival team said in a statement.

Lysy was also the co-founder of the NUME Academy and Festival in Cortona, Italy, which offers tuition free masterclass for violin, viola and cello students, chamber music sessions and concerts by guest international artists. ’He was a constant source of inspiration, both on and off stage, providing guidance and unwavering support to numerous young talents from across the globe,’ the academy and festival said on social media. He also taught at the Heifetz International Music Institute in Virginia and the Toronto Summer Music Festival in Canada.

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