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30.5.05

Ruth Laredo Dies at 67

I have just learned that concert pianist Ruth Laredo, who had become a renowned interpreter of Scriabin's music, died suddenly on May 25. As it turns out, I feel that much more fortunate to have heard her play last year at the National Gallery of Art, a performance that I reviewed here on March 30, 2004 (and, yes, she did play Scriabin that evening, the "Trill" sonata). I was shocked to learn the details of what led to her death:

American pianist Ruth Laredo, who was known for groundbreaking recordings of the complete works of Scriabin and Rachmaninoff, died in her sleep Wednesday night at her New York City apartment. She was 67. The cause of death was ovarian cancer, according to her sister, Rayna Kogan, West Bloomfield, Mich. Laredo had been living with the disease for four years but was performing until several weeks ago. Her last appearance was May 6 at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in her popular, long-running performance-lecture series, "Concerts With Commentary."
I was shocked because that means that when I saw here last year, she was playing in the advanced stages of ovarian cancer. As far as I know, that concert was her last appearance in the Washington area. (Strangely, there was no mention of that in the obituary in the Washington Post, by Matt Schudel on May 28. The Post did not review that concert, by the way.)

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