The wonderful French pianist Brigitte Engerer sadly died a few days ago (on 23rd June) of cancer. She was just 59. I loved Engerer’s playing. She was born in Tunis and was of Maltese descent. Having started playing the piano at the age of five, she entered the Paris Conservatoire in the class of Lucette Descaves. She obtained in 1968, aged 15, first prize in piano, the first named unanimously. In 1969, she won the Concours International Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud, and she was invited to undertake further study at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory where she joined the class of Stanislav Neuhaus whom she studied with for nine years.
In 1980 Brigitte’s career took a decisive turn when Herbert von Karajan invited her to play with the Berlin Philharmonic. Her subsequent career was divided between giving recitals and teaching at the Paris Conservatoire. She particularly enjoyed playing chamber music especially duets and two piano works.
Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.
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