Acclaimed Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti has been hospitalized after falling ill with an unspecified medical condition during a recital in Florida Thursday night.
Kuerti, 75, was minutes into his performance at Coral Gables Congregational Church in Miami when he began to play the same passage repeatedly and became increasingly disoriented, making numerous stops and starts, according to witness reports.
An audience member gently approached Kuerti mid-performance and coaxed him off-stage, as organizers announced an intermission.
Paramedics arrived in an ambulance to take Kuerti to South Miami Hospital. There has been no further information on his condition.
"Although Kuerti left the stage under his own power, he required immediate medical attention, and appeared disoriented and unable to answer simple questions," audience member Dorothy Hindman, a music composition professor and writer for the South Florida Classical Review, posted late Thursday evening.
According to Hindman, Kuerti had appeared normal — speaking "intelligently and humorously" — when sharing comments before his performance.
The Austrian-born, U.S.-raised Kuerti, who has lived in Canada since the 1960s, is considered one of the world's greatest living pianists. A celebrated musician who made his stage debut while still a child, he has performed and taught music around the globe. He is also a composer and popular recording artist.
His long list of accolades include being named an officer of the Order of Canada and winning the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement. His son Julian also followed his father into music and is currently principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Concepcion in Chile.
A noted interpreter of Beethoven, Kuerti has often performed whole collections of the famed composer's music, including Beethoven's complete sonatas and concertos.