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Brendel's Swan Song

Alfred Brendel

Pianist Alfred Brendel to give his final Chicago performance

By John von Rhein
Chicago Tribune

The great pianists are a hardy breed who would look at you horror-struck if you even whispered the word "retirement" in their presence. In fact many celebrated artists of the keyboard have been known to continue playing, their powers practically undimmed, well into old age. Think of Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz and Claudio Arrau, all of whom were still going strong into their 80s.

Alfred Brendel certainly could have kept his thriving international career going for another decade or so; instead, he has chosen to bow out gracefully at age 77. The celebrated Austrian pianist is to give his final performance in December, playing a Mozart concerto in Vienna with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Before stepping into the good night of retirement, Brendel is playing a farewell concert tour of Europe and America that is to include stops in major cities including Chicago, where he will make his final Orchestra Hall appearance Sunday afternoon.

Read more about this at the Chicago Tribune website:,1,7748443.story