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Tragic death of young pianist: an official statement

The management of Mihaela Ursuleasa, who was found dead in her apartment in Vienna yesterday, has published a clarification of the cause of death and issued an appeal for her family’s privacy to be protected.

Her death has struck Rumanian music to the heart. Several leading musicians have messaged us that they are unable to stop weeping. The official statement follows.

The pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa was found deceased in her apartment in Vienna, her adopted city, in the morning of the 2nd of August 2012. The forensic doctor pronounced a natural death caused by a cerebral commotion.

She was only 33 years old (a magical number).


Artists like Mihaela are those who give us hope, help us feel and make us understand that music, and also art, prevails above everything else; that it makes us advance as human beings. They make us realize that we are on the right path when we open not our eyes and ears but our hearts to listen, expecting music making to move us and take us some place else. This is what Mihaela’s music did.


It is with great sorrow that we say goodbye to her, keeping only the hope that other real artists like Mihaela will come our way and guide us to hear and, most importantly, to feel.


We would like to ask you – her public and friends -  not to mourn her but to let her go in peace and remember her for what she was on this planet earth, a great musician and artist, probably too great for us to understand most of the time.


In my last phone conversation with her we spoke about music and we also laughed and mentioned her two dear friends and musical supporters Sol Gabetta and Patricia Kopatchinskaja;  friends who have always been there for her and whom I would like to acknowledge and thank personally.


I would like to invite you to watch her last orchestra concert with the second Chopin Piano Concerto, concert which took place in Bucharest on the 7th of June of this year and which will be uploaded soon on her website.


I would also like to ask all promoters that had invited Mihaela for the next months and were expecting her in their series to work with us towards planning and dedicating these concerts to her memory and her artistry, in the hope that wherever she is now, she will feel our energy and come join us with her musical inspiration for each of these concerts.  A special request to each one of the promoters is to donate half of the fees planned for these concerts to a donation account that we will create for her seven years old daughter.  Any other donations will be very appreciated. We will post the account information on Mihaela’s website as soon as possible.


We will provide you with information about her funeral next week, Wednesday or Thursday.


Please consider this statement as the only official and accurate one and please be considerate towards her family and friends. If you feel you would like to be close to her and to us all who have loved her and surrounded her, please listen to her music, this is what she has come and lived for.


Thank you


Andreea Butucariu


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  1. I wish mental health were afforded, and provided to every human being in the civilized world; the way we screeen for polio, measles, mumps, etc.
    Many of our most talented fellow beings, and we, would profit from the care, and those gone would have caused some stir of normalacy amongst us all, to know their deaths served no purpose whatsoever. My prayers to her daughter and family.

  2. Netherlands Radio 4 has a Chopin and Schumann recital you can hear for the next 2 days that well illustrates the magnitude of the loss.

  3. Thomas P says:

    With respect, and speaking as a neuroscientist, what is a “cerebral commotion”?

    • James Louder says:

      “Cerebral commotion” means a concussion. It’s a literal translation of the French expression “commotion cérébrale.”

      • James Louder says:

        This raises the further question of whether her death can be called “natural,” since a concussion is caused head trauma of some sort. The expression used here indicates a bad translation, so perhaps what the forensic examiner really said is that her death was not “natural” but rather, accidental.

  4. Wladimir Kossjaennko says:

    I remember all our concerts we have played together, all our rehearsal in your home on the Mariahilferstrasse in Vienna. Saddened by the news yesterday that you are no longer with us. With only 33 lived years! My dear Mihaela, may your soul rest in peace.

    For ever yours


  5. So sad, I’ve just found in the internet that the ‘cerebral commotion’ does not show any signs or symptoms… Or this would be a better news; she could focus on her work because there were no sufferings. I believe her soul of music is still around us.

  6. When I read about Mihaela Ursuleasa’s death I went and listened to a clip of her’s on youtube, and was in tears within moments smitten by the beauty of her playing, wondering why I had never heard of this amazing musician before; and shocked at the news of her early passing. Then I heard what I believe was her “voice” in my head saying “I’m not dead.”

    I believe that we don’t die the body dies (which we gave life to; so in a way it never was alive: we were) but our spirit never dies , going back to forever. And that’s the source of life, and there is great healing in touching in with this, certainly with a spirit as strong as Mihaela Ursuleasa!

    This brings solace and I would wish that for anyone who is effected by Mihaela Ursuleasa’s death: to find solace in their own way. I believe what her management says, that if you go to to help with the energy that she gave while alive, her energy might still be there (even though invisible and not really capable or in need of being objective). And I believe she is in a place with such unconditional love, she would only want to share it, knowing there is no loss.

    Since it has been brought up in this blog, I offer some counterpoint.

    This creates a great problem with the “Mental Health” system because:
    1) I am grieving which is a sign of depression.
    2) I heard a to them non existent voice, which they would call a hallucination.
    3) I would be non compliant, although this is what brings me healing…

    And it is music which gives me the space for my emotions to find a home. The same home I find it OK for me to believe Mihaela Ursuleasa has gone back to, without being accused of having symptoms of a “mental illness”. The “medications” for hallucinations dampen all parts of the personality and would prevent creativity (which *ahem* is how music is created). And the “medications” for depression have even been implicated in causing hemorrhaging in the brain:

    There are clinical scientific tests for: polio, measles, mumps (all mentioned above), and these same clinical scientific tests show that psychiatric “medications” create chemical imbalances, addiction, and even death rather than addressing chemical imbalances. They disable the mind from it’s natural state. Street drugs have the same correlation, as would alcohol, a bad diet (all things people do for their “emotions” and might believe they feel better). The statistical data on the occurrence of mental illness in regards to the biological model is that since it’s adaptation there is more mental illness. And there is yet any truly conclusive proof that the biological model is anything but ideology (see books of Peter Breggin and Robert Whitaker).

    Music and the arts have been healing people’s emotions since life began. That is their nature. That is what Mihaela Ursuleasa did and how her memory will stand.

    Music and the arts have always healed the human emotions, this is spiritual; and it is from the source of life. I believe this will never change, but will always be there. ..there will never be any magic pill that can do what this does for people. That is what Mihaela Ursuleasa gave and I believe gives…..

    With love….

  7. I just read about Mihaela’s very early and tragic passing. What a magnificent and talented woman. Sadly, I lost my brother at the same age with the same related circumstances of death. I disagree this was natural causes, if she was prescribed any kind of psychiatric drugs. I have spent more than 12 years researching these drugs now, and have learned that the evidence quite clearly demonstrates central nervous system demise with these drugs, in many cases written off as “natural death”. Please read works of Peter Lehman of Germany fur further understanding. I worry that very tragically, this is another death caused by these drugs. So very sorry to hear of this tragic death. My condolences to all those who are grieving her loss, far and wide. May she rest in peace.

  8. Maurine Gutowski says:

    I’m not a medical doctor but I have a keen interest in research. Mihaela’s condition sounds like a congenital convolution (twisting) of blood vessels resulting in a cerebral aneurysm, symptomless until it bursts or leaks. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with a concussion or taking of drugs.

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