Robby Steinhardt, violinist and vocalist for rock band Kansas, dead at 71

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Violinist and vocalist Robert “Robby” Steinhardt, an integral part of the rock band Kansas, has died.

He was 71.

His death stemmed from complications of pancreatitis, said his wife, Cindy Steinhardt, according to The Associated Press.

The Kansas frontman was known for his violin solos, most fittingly an epic one in “Dust in the Wind.”

In a Facebook post, Cindy Steinhardt detailed “our final journey,” which started May 13 when he went into the hospital with acute pancreatitis, got nearly fatal sepsis and then miraculously recovered. More than two months later, just as he was about to come home, “his body had other plans,” Cindy Steinhardt wrote. “A fever set in, blood pressure became uncontrollable, the sepsis reared its ugly head again.”

Stabilized once again, “he greeted me with a smile, open arms and kisses,” she wrote. “His daughter Becky called. They had a beautiful, happy, conversation together.”

But just a few short minutes later, everything changed.

“Six minutes later as I held him to keep him warm, he died in my arms at 6:30pm Saturday July 17, 2021,” she wrote.

“We are beyond devastated, as our lives were about to start a new adventure,” Steinhardt wrote. “Robby just recorded his first solo album with the talented music producer Michael Franklin at Solar Studios. A tour to start in August, Robby was so looking forward to being back on stage doing what he loved.”

Tributes poured in from fellow musicians and others, most notably the band itself.

“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,” the group wrote on their Facebook page. “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, a native of Lawrence, Kansas, was an original member of the band, teaming up with Topeka West High School graduates Kerry Livgren, Rich Williams, Phil Ehart and Dave Hope and with Steve Walsh, who grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri, according to The Associated Press.

Steinhardt performed with Kansas from 1973 to 1982 and 1997 to 2006.

The progressive rock band’s unique, sound, replete with orchestral influence, sent its members’ stars soaring, the Capital-Journal noted. The group had seven top-40 hits with “Dust in the Wind,” “Carry on Wayward Son” and other classics, selling 15 million records.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting