1. Schubert pianist: Radu Lupu.
2. Conductor: Sergiu Celibadache. A high variance obsessive, Amazon doesn’t seem to carry his important recordings. At his peak he is one of the best conductors ever and can force a total rethink of the music upon you. He demanded so much rehearsal time, and so much perfection, that he was often impossible to work with. There is a short YouTube bit here.
3. Painter: I can’t name one, sorry. I have seen some nice folk art icon paintings on glass, see the image at the bottom of this post.
5. Chopin pianist: Dinu Lipatti, especially the Waltzes.
6. Producer of maxims: Emil Cioran. I have enjoyed all of his books.
7. Poet: Paul Celan. I am surprised he is not more widely read in the United States. At his peaks I don’t think any 20th century poet is better or more important.
8. Novelist: Herta Müller, better in German than English, both linguistically and culturally.
9. Violinist: Georges Enescu, of course he was a composer too.
10. Mozart pianist: Clara Haskil.
11. Movie: I’ve tried a bunch of the famous recent ones, but I can’t get through them and this is from a man who gladly watched the entire 7 hour, 12 minute Sátántangó .
12. Former NBA basketball center: G. Muresan.
13. Economist: Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.
The bottom line: There is some real beauty here, and aesthetic romance, but I don’t have a good theory for why novels and painting are not stronger.