The ‘Grande Dame’ of music Brigitte Engerer passes away

Pianist Brigitte Engerer passed away last Saturday aged 59

Pianist Brigitte Engerer
Pianist Brigitte Engerer

In a statement, the embassy of Malta in Paris said the world was mourning a piano player described by Stanislas Neuhaus as 'one of the most brilliant and most original pianists of her generation.

"Her playing is characterised by her artistic sense, her romantic spirit and range, the perfection of her technique, as well as an innate skill of connecting with the audience," Neuhaus had said.

Engerer gave her first concert at the age of nine at the Theatre des Champs Elysees.  It was 50 years later at the very same theatre that she gave her last concert.

Brigitte Engerer played with the greatest artists in the world.  Early in her career, one of the greatest maestros the world has ever seen, Herbert von Karajan invited her to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - then she was only 25 years old. 

Invitations by the great Daniel Barenboim and Zubim Mehta soon followed.  Engerer played in the most prestigious theatres in the world accompanied by the ultimate orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. 

The Embassy of Malta in Paris made history when in May 2011 organised a concert in the presence of the then Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism and Culture,  Mario de Marco at the majestic Hotel des Invalides. Engerer had been the main performer that evening.  

She was accompanied by the Symphonic Orchestra of the famous Guard Republican under the baton of Mro. Sebastian billard and Mro. Brian Schembri. 

That day Brigitte Engerer received an emotional standing ovation but more emotional for Malta was the ceremony just after the concert when this giant artist received her Maltese citizenship from de Marco. 

Indeed Brigette Engerer was also Maltese. 

"We lost one of our own," the embassy said.

Brigitte Engerer recorded many albums under the most prestigious labels including Philips, Decca Universal, Warner, Denon and others.

Brigitte Engerer received the highest French decorations - she received the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur, Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Mérite, Commandeur de l'Ordre National des Arts et Lettres.  She was also Member of the Institut de France and Académie des Beaux Arts.  In  2011 she was nominated by the victoires de la Music Classique as Victoire d'Honneur  for her lifetime achievement.