Pianist Benjamin Rawitz Found Murdered in Brussels Apartment Building

Classic Arts News   Pianist Benjamin Rawitz Found Murdered in Brussels Apartment Building
Benjamin Rawitz, a 60-year-old Israeli-born pianist, was found murdered on Tuesday morning (August 29) in the Brussels apartment building where he lived. The Brussels newspapers La Libre Belgique and De Standaard, the Associated Press and the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported the death yesterday.

According to La Libre Belgique, a neighbor found Rawitz's battered body in the basement of his apartment building; his nose had been broken and the frontal bone of his face smashed.

Brussels police confirmed yesterday that an investigation into Rawitz's murder is underway; they believe that he was killed in the course of a robbery, though "all options are open," spokesman Jos Colpin told the AP.

Rawitz's car was apparently stolen shortly after the murder: it was involved in two accidents the night before the body was found, one toward midnight not far from the apartment building and the second some time later and farther away, according to La Libre Belgique. Witnesses saw two men running from the car after the second accident; neither has been found.

Rawitz studied at Tel Aviv University and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, the city where he settled and based his concert career. He performed frequently in Europe, Japan and the Americas, according to La Libre Belgique, and won several awards, including the Mozart-Preis in Zurich, the Premio Alb_niz in Barcelona and the European Broadcasting Prize.

The Royal Conservatory of Brussels will hold a commemorative gathering in his honor at 30 rue de la R_gence from 3-5 pm on Sunday, September 3. According to EJP, Rawitz's body will be flown to Israel for burial on September 3 or 4.

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