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Renowned pianist dead at 33

World

Berlin - Internationally renowned Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa has been found dead in her apartment in the Austrian capital. She was 33.

The musician's agent, Andreea Butucariu, said in a statement Friday that Ursuleasa died Thursday from the effects of a cerebral hemorrhage and asked for her family's privacy to be respected. Police in Vienna confirmed the cause of death.

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Butucariu told Romanian media that Ursuleasa had recently cancelled two concerts in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, on unspecified health grounds.

Ursuleasa began playing the piano at 5 years old under the guidance of her Gypsy jazz musician father in then communist Romania. She obtained a grant to study in Vienna at 12, a year after communism collapsed.

She went on to play at New York's Carnegie Hall, with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester in Berlin, with Orchestre National de France and also with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Romanian soprano Felicia Filip on Friday reminisced about Ursuleasa's debut. “In my mind's eye I see the child lost in the immensity of the piano,” she told Romanian news agency Mediafax, referring to one of the pianist's first public performances. “I recall a child who couldn't reach the piano pedals,” she said.

Ursuleasa is survived by a 5-year-old daughter.

Butucariu - in a statement released from Berlin - said Ursuleasa's funeral would be held next week, but provided no details where she would be buried. - Sapa-AP

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