The immensely popular and greatly admired American cellist Lynn Harrell has died at the age of 76. Loved and respected by all who knew him, Harrell’s death was announced by his wife, violinist Helen Nightengale, on social media, although she did not disclose the cause of his death. “We have lost a wonderful father, husband, mensch,” she wrote on Facebook. “All four of Lynn’s children, his sister, friends and I mourn him along with those who were lucky enough to know his music, his wit and his humanity. You were an end of an era, Dear Lynn, and will be missed more than you will ever know. We love you to the moon and back. Rest in Peace, dear one, you have earned it.”

Colleagues across the music world were quick to offer heartfelt tributes: “What a terrible and shocking news,” cellist Mischa Maisky told The Violin Channel. “Lynn was one of my oldest colleagues/friends – we have known and highly respected each other for almost 47 years! He was a phenomenal cellist – with facilities and a sound like no one else – and a real ‘gentle giant’ as a human being! He will be greatly missed by anyone...

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