Grant Johannesen, 83, has died in Berlin
- With thanks to my friend Steve Miller at The New York Sun, I pass along the sad news that Grant Johannesen, one of the finest pianists of his generation, has died.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Pianist Grant Johannesen, best known for his
performances of music by French composers, died Sunday in Berlin. He was 83.
The cause of death was unknown, and arrangements were pending, his
sister-in-law, Beverley Sorenson, told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Elisabeth von Rummelhoff, a lifelong friend, said Johannesen had been
visiting friends in Berlin. He was practicing the piano Sunday morning,
complained of back pain, lay down to rest "and slipped away," von Rummelhoff
Despite being based in New York most of his life, Johannesen always
maintained close ties to his hometown of Salt Lake City and the Utah
One of the last projects Johannesen completed was "Mormoniana," a piano
suite by 16 composers who share roots in The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. He arranged the disparate compositions in sequence and
Born July 30, 1921, Johannesen went to New York to study with pianist and
composer Robert Casadesus at age 17. He also studied composition with Roger
Sessions and Nadia Boulanger.
His fame grew while touring with the New York Philharmonic under Dimitri
Mitropoulos and the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell.
The New Grove American Dictionary of Music said he was best-known for his
interpretations of music by French composers such as Francis Poulenc, Darius
Milhaud and Gabriel Faure. He was the first artist to record Faure's
complete piano works.
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