Romanian pianist Radu Lupu has enjoyed an outstandingly successful career. Born in the final year of World War II, he began studies on the piano at the age of six, and after only six years of study made his public recital debut; this garnered attention in Soviet musical circles and eventually landed him a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory, where he worked under the great Heinrich Neuhaus.
In 1966 Lupu won the prestigious Van Cliburn Competition. Usually such a triumph would move a young pianist to abandon formal training and embark on a full-scale professional career, but Lupu chose instead to remain at the conservatory for another few years and hone his already remarkable skills. Only when honored with the top prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1969 did Lupu disengage himself once and for all from student life and take up the role of traveling virtuoso; in the next few years he made appearances in all of the major musical capitals of both Europe and the United States.
As can be said of many of his compatriots, Radu Lupu has made a musical home for himself in the rich 19th century repertoire — Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven, and Brahms especially. But he has never hesitated to stray to either side of this self-prescribed pasture — his Mozart touch is shining when called upon (witness his chamber collaborations with violinist Szymon Goldberg), and he endows performances of modern works with an honesty and intelligence not always offered by top-rank virtuosi.