The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Renowned Czech “pianist’s pianist” Ivan Moravec is dead at 84. | July 29, 2015

By Jacob Stockinger

The renowned Czech pianist Ivan Moravec (below) — known as “a pianist’s pianist” — died Monday at the age of 84. He died in Prague of complications from pneumonia.

ivan moravec playing

Moravec was known especially for his interpretations of Chopin, DebussyBrahms and especially Mozart – his playing of a Mozart piano concerto was heard on the soundtrack of the popular and Academy Award-winning film “Amadeus,” which you can hear in a YouTube video at the bottom. He also played composers from his native land including Antonin Dvorak, Bedrich Smetana and Leos Janacek.

Ivan Moravec vertical young

Here are some obituaries:

From Gramophone magazine:

From Classical Music magazine:

From Voy Forums with mentions of awards:

From critic Norman Lebrecht‘s blog Slipped Disc:


  1. […] More from Jake Stockinger at The Well Tempered Ear here […]

    Pingback by RIP Ivan Moravec | Kenneth Woods- conductor — August 2, 2015 @ 7:06 am

  2. hello, Jake

    the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, 7/25-26 had a one page article on Patti Lu Pone.Within the article she listed 5 rules of theatre etiquette that I’d love to see shared in your blog. Beginning with(paraphrased) 1. respect those around you in the audience, 2. Turn off electronics, 3. Have dinner befiorehand (don’t eat or drink)4. Use judgement (don’t give all a standing ovation) 5, “prepare for bliss” an expectation that you will be delighted. I think it would be worth your tracking the article and printing it verbatim.

    Thanks for your daily efforts and the wonderful news you share.

    Marti Phillips

    Comment by martiphillips — July 29, 2015 @ 3:28 pm

  3. Hi Jake- Thank you so much for noting the passing of this great artist, a man who never quite earned the fame or fortune his artistry merited.

    The many recordings he made are really treasures and well worth seeking out. I played with him once, as an orchestral cellist, in the Schumann Concerto. I’d never heard of him before and had no idea what to expect. He was the greatest and most compelling artist at the piano I’ve ever been on stage with, at least that week. His playing was infinitely colorful, but never flashy or for effect. He played with incredible freedom, yet was absolutely easy to follow. There was something so centered and focused about what he did, and this gave the playing a sense of fluidity and clarity that was simply amazing. One wasn’t aware of him having a big sound, but with a large symphony orchestra, you could still hear every note, and every note had beauty, every note had a beginning a middle and an end. We barely rehearsed with him- one run-through and that was all it took to produce a performance I still remember as a career highlight nearly 20 years on.

    The music world is a poorer place without his musicianship and that matchless sound.

    Comment by Kenneth Woods — July 29, 2015 @ 9:06 am

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