RIP Gustav Leonhardt

Gustav Leonhardt, kindly and brilliant(Photo: DGG)
Gustav Leonhardt, kindly and brilliant(Photo: DGG)

The indefatigable Norman Lebrecht was the first to break the news that Gustav Leonhardt has died, age 83.

Leonhardt used to come to Boston quite often when I was young-as my hometown began its ascendancy to early music capital of the world.

He conducted the Brandenburgs at Sanders Theater-the first time I heard this music ‘live’-and what better introduction? Leonhardt went on to play the Goldbergs on harpsichord. He would sit quietly before he began without any of this “getting in the zone” nonsense. He spoke simply and seriously about the music that mean the most to him (Bach, Couperin, Monteverdi) and off stage was a bumbling absent-minded professor type, kind to silly kids like me who skipped the grade to hear his concerts.