Christopher Falzone & Martha Argerich
(c) Peter Politti

American pianist Christopher Falzone died on Wednesday, Obtober 22,  in Geneva, aged 29. A pupil of Leon Fleisher and a protégé of Martha Argerich, the Pianist committed suicide. It was for him the end of a tragic life. Read below one of his last messages – a completely inconceivable story – , when he launched a fund raising campaign on ‘go fund me’.

« I am a concert pianist Christopher Falzone. I made a professional reputation and career as independent of my parents.

I need to raise funds to start my life in Europe and leave behind the dramatic court case in America.

My loving and beloved wife of nine years is next of kin to me, but since my rights were taken from me with my parents claiming me as an incapacitated person, we are afraid of further actions being taken to limit us harmfully. For the last nine years I had a great fear that they would control me, remove me from my own life with music, and force me to go back living at their home in Virginia.

I never saw them for 8 years until last year in 2013 when I saw them twice – I spent one night one time and another time for two nights. I made a big mistake to come to their house which I regret, and I had to run away. I knew that they were capable to overpower my life, and fears overflowed my rational self on an emotional level; I made an irrational move and without anticipation, I fell from a significant height and found myself in the hospital. I am in the wheelchair for now – they were two accidents, and I found myself in the hospital twice with leg and pelvic injuries. I’ll be walking again soon.

That’s what they were waiting for, so they pled to court and declared me an alleged and incapacitated person. A petition suddenly came to us on Saturday, February 22, 2014, and on Monday, just after 48 hours while it was not possible to find an attorney, my civil rights and rights to make decisions were gone. My wife was caring for me all along and had a « power of attorney » and « declaration of living will » from 2005. My parents want to be my legal guardians, separate me from my wife. They denied my independent achievements and my professional successes.

I had been a student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and at the same point was almost ready to stop playing the piano until I met my wife, Lily. I needed to change my approach to studying. It was my parents’ approach, which affected my trust, relationship, and how I was learning from my masters (teachers). With Lily’s effort I changed enormously, improved professionally, and graduated with an award. I was ready to be independent from my parents since I lived alone in Philadelphia (2003). They didn’t come to any of my recitals (2005 – 2014) or my graduation recital (2008).

It was impossible to communicate with them, because they were and still are possessive and couldn’t face me to go my own way. Since 2005 they were not there for me, unless I would come back to their home. « Time to go home, » was always the order. To have an independent life from them and stay away was important for me. I decided to be healthy as to be my own person and to enjoy my beautiful marriage with a women who fully understood me as a man and an artist. They never acknowledged my marriage.

They placed me in a nursing home, and my wife was restricted from visiting me to only four hours. I couldn’t go to my own home to use my things there, to go to the concert hall which is just behind my house, to be happy there with my wife and cat. From May 28 until June 3, a judge made a decision. His decision was delayed by 5 days, and so, « Christopher Falzone’s person, » life and death would belong to a legal guardian while being administrated by obsessive persons-parents. I would be « legally kidnapped » and « enslaved, » and they would make all decisions about where I live, what I can do, etc. It restricts my freedom and for the rest of my life.

I have kept distance from them and are avoiding their intimidating false accusations in my alleged incapacitation. They wanted to separate us. They were against my wife and that she was close by my side and me by her side. For these types of cases there are no public lawyers but private only which is very expensive. I would not have even been able to perform anymore. My father had said « No. » He wanted to decide everything for me instead of accepting me to be an adult, married, and internationally-known pianist. And they are lawyers.

Lily and I have been close by each other’s side while we support each other’s nature and creative gifts to be in harmony and continue our musical concentration. We love our passionate connection to music, and we need each other for dedication and future. I cannot be without her which is what my parents want, because she and I understand each other fully.

The plan to go to Switzerland to attend Martha Argerich’s festival this June and have further rehabilitation in the best clinics in Switzerland is strong for us and for protecting our rights.

My parents stand in the way for my recovery.

Please let me explain to you my love story with Lily. I can probably better express myself in music, but there are many reasons why we feel intimidated by the pressure of peoples’ misunderstandings and legal directives. I and Lily lived a life mostly for each other, and she managed my professional needs, only our feelings to believe in each other and support each other with strong wills. Still It is the same, but now it’s different when we are vulnerable to people approaching us from another side. It feels awful when they come to conclusions without hearing us out or considering our feelings.

Christopher Falzone


We received the following comment from on of our readers, questioning the authenticity of the ‘go-fund-me’ text, without providing further proof:

I read your ‘article’ on the death of Christopher Falzone, which included the « Go’Fund-Me » letter purportedly written by Christopher. I did not know Christopher on a personal level, but knew of him from the time he was a small child in Richmond, VA, because his wonderful talent was well known in the music community in Richmond. I was a professor in the VCU Dept. of Music.

It is obvious that the letter in the « Go-Fund-Me » was NOT written by Christopher Falzone, given the stilted English and sentence structure of that letter. It was certainly not written by a native speaker of American English. That much is clear!

His death is tragic for the music world, but more so for his family, and those who loved him. The issues surrounding his death and his recent mental and physical health issues are certainly complicated, made more so by the legal issues and the relationships between Christopher, his wife, and his parents.

I am sure you mean well, but you have done a disservice to his parents by publishing the article.

Dr. Sandra Guerard,
Richmond, VA


  • Pizzicato

  • Archives