Which pianist maintained their technique the longest?

As we know pianists’ tech diminishes with age, yet some manage to keep their techniques more or less in tact past the age of 70.
However it’s much rarer for pianists to maintain their mechanisms past the age of 80.
Of those who did, my vote is for Backhaus, who at the age of 85 managed to play the Waldstein Sonata with incredible ease his last concert.
Honourable mentions Horowitz and Arrau.
Of living/non-retired pianists Freire is still in top shape at age 72, hopefully he can keep going.

In addition to the people you’ve mentioned:

Egon Petri

SS is an interesting case because his jeu perlé technique is absolutely not how we are taught to play these days.


And Plante pozz

Earl Wild, Richter & Gilels?

Da Horzowski too.


Fuckkkk! 97 years old here! :approved: :approved:

I don’t know about rubinstein, I don’t think he ever had the technique of most of the pianists mentioned. The appasionata when he was 89 sounds like he was 89 imo.
Plante based on the 10/7 I’d say no but he was 90+ I think at that time?
Gilels died too young to be considered; he wasn’t even 70.
Richter retired at 80 from memory. I can’t actually recall his last recs to judge what condition his tech was in by that time.
Earl Wild probably, I think I’ve got that EW at 88 disc somewhere I’ll have to have another listen.

He made his debut at age 12 iirc and last concert at 99.
That’s got to be up there for longest career ever no matter the field.

Da Rectum 1988 pimp TEz n othaz, at 73!!! Tru.

Granted, he was only 71 when he died, but Fiorentino was still in PRIME shape at the end. I actually prefer his late recs to the early ones most of the time. I can’t say that about any other pianist.

As for Richter, he had good and bad days. But on a good day, his recs at 80 could sound like anyone else at 40-50. As far as I’m concerned, any mofo that can do this at 75 deserves respect:


Also, Jakob Gimpel was still killing it into his mid 70s. Here he is at 75:


Rach was in top shape when he died tru, although he was only 69.

Lipatti was in top shape when he died.


Yeah I agree 100%, only reason I didn’t mention him was his age when he died.

Cziffra in 1993, one year before his death. Still sounds like a 50’s Ziff impro


too soon

Welcome back u MOFO

Why do you guys think some pianists are able to maintain their techniques while others fade away?
I’m thinking of Pollini who was once a legendary technician and now is almost :ho: in japan level.

I think - the ease in which they execute certain things in the first place.

  1. Natural dexterity coupled with the proper hand positions for minimum effort and less ligament strain - less strength required (like Barere)

  2. Maintaining a performing career without significant breaks when the muscle and ligament fibers atrophy.

  3. How well yo hands are suited to da 88 and whether or not you need daily rigorous work to maintain yo tech

  4. Whether yo tech is RAW RAPE based on endless repetition or a TRU GURU TECH where you actually figure out things using yo brain 8)

Seriously great answer.

trumofo. he can write brilliant stuff and also say earth is flat.