Founding Kansas Violinist + Co-Vocalist Robby Steinhardt Has Died at 71
The music world has lost another great as Robby Steinhardt, a founding member of the band Kansas, has died at the age of 71.
News of Steinhardt's death was confirmed by his family who issued a statement on the passing that reads as follows:
Robert Eugene Steinhardt, was well recognized as a founding member and original violinist and vocalist for the rock band Kansas. His violin and vocals on, Dust in The Wind, Point Of No Return and Carry On Wayward Son, have etched Robby a solid place in rock history.
Robby had been recording his new album with producer Michael Franklin, who put together an all-star cast of famous musicians in support of Robby’s comeback. Steinhardt was very proud of this project, slated for release in late 2021. He had begun rehearsals for a national tour when he became ill.
Robby is survived by his wife Cindy, and daughter Becky. Steinhardt was 71 years old. He will be deeply missed by all he knew and his music will last forever. A memorial will be announced in the future.
Shortly after the news was revealed, the members of Kansas issued their own statement on Steinhardt's death that reads as follows:
The members of the band KANSAS, past and present, wish to express our deepest sorrow over the death of our bandmate and friend, Robby Steinhardt.
Robby will always be in our souls, in our minds, and in our music.
What he brought to us as bandmates, to the fans who attended our concerts, and to the sound of KANSAS, will always be heartfelt.
We love him and will miss him always.
Steinhardt grew up in Lawrence, Kansas as the son of Milton Steinhardt, the director of music history at the University of Kansas. He started violin lessons at the age of eight and was classically trained. The musician initially was part of another Kansas-based group, White Clover, who eventually morphed into the early lineup of Kansas. His violin playing became one of the group's more distinctive features.
He spent two stints with the band, serving from 1973-1982 during the height of the band's popularity and later returning from 1997-2006. Though he exited Kansas for good in 2006, the musician continued to work on music and as stated by his family, he had been preparing a new solo record.
Our condolences go out to the Steinhardt family as well as the extended Kansas family. Revisit some of Steinhardt's best known hits with Kansas below.