The Romanian violinist was one of the world’s leading interpreters of George Enescu’s music


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Violin performer, teacher and music editor Sherban Lupu has died, aged 71. He was considered one of the leading Romanian violinists of the last century and a champion of Enescu’s compositions.

Born in Brasov, Romania in 1952, Lupu studied at the Bucharest Conservatory with George Manoliu, going on to study in London at the Guildhall School of Music with Yfrah Neaman. He took lessons and master classes with violinists including Yehudi Menuhin, Henryk Szering and Nathan Milstein as well as with Norbert Brainin of the Amadeus  Quartet and Sandor Vegh.

Lupu enjoyed competition success, including prizes at the Vienna International, Romanian National String Quartet, Jacques Thibaud in Paris, Carl Flesch in London, Royal Society of Arts, and the Park Lane Group competitions. He went on to study with Dorothy DeLay and, at Indiana University, with Josef Gingold and receive chamber music coaching from Menahem Pressler.

He held the position of professor emeritus of violin at the University of Illinois, has been artistic director of the Gubbio Festival in Italy and associate concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera. As a soloist, he performed at The Kennedy Center, Gstaad Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Berlin Philharmonic Hall and Carnegie Hall. He also performed the Brahms and Tchaikovsky violin concertos in live broadcasts with the BBC Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with the Northern Israeli Symphony Orchestra.

In collaboration with the composer Cornel Taranu, Lupu finished and reconstructed the Caprice Roumain for violin and orchestra by George Enescu. Together with the Romanian Cultural Institute, Lupu published six volumes of previously unknown works for violin by Enescu, which Lupu discovered, edited and arranged. He held the post of president of the George Enescu Society of the United States since December 2011.

Lupu received numerous awards and honours for his work as a performer and teacher. In 2000, Lupu received a lifetime achievement award from the Romanian Cultural Foundation for his efforts to promote Romanian culture and music internationally. Two years later, he received an honorary doctorate from Academy of Music ’G. Dima’ from Cluj (Romania). In 2004 he received the title of Commander of the National Order of Merit and Service from the president of Romania, as well as the Polish Ministry of Culture the Award for Outstanding Teaching.

2007 saw Lupu receive the ’Arnold Beckman’ Award from the Research Board of the University of Illinois, plus another honorary doctorate from the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania. He received a Fulbright Grant for the 2009-2010 academic year.

He was the artistic director of the ’The Musical Citadel of Brasov’ International Festival, Romania from 2002. He pursued several recording projects, such as the complete works for violin by Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst and unknown works of Eugene Ysaÿe. In addition, he prepared and supervisied publication of an edition of Ernst’s works for Toccata Press.

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