Brigitte Engerer died on June 23 in Paris. She was 59 years old.
Engerer was a great pianist. She was born in Tunis and was performing publicly by age 6. Her family moved to Paris when she was young and she first studied at the Paris Conservatoire. When she was 17 she moved to the USSR and was awarded a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory. She lived in the USSR for nine years. She was better known in Europe than in the US, but this was a loss for the US. She played with the New York and Berlin Philarmonics and the Chicago and London Symphonies and worked with some the world's leading conductors.
The New York Times quoted Charles Timbrell speaking about her as follows:
She played with a lot of spontaneity: it was temperamental playing, but it was not overly showy. Like her personality, it was warm and vivacious and very direct.
It sometimes seems to me that this is exactly what we are lacking today, and particularly so since the demise of the USSR---warm and direct cultural workers, people with vivacity and skill who can patiently master spontaneity and use it for a greater good without being showy. For that matter, these are the virtues that every socialist society seeks to inculcate in its people.
Engerer was probably not a communist, but her work and the way she carried it out reflected a spirit of internationalism.
Here is a video of Engerer performing with Boris Berezovsky.