Robby Steinhardt, longtime violinist and vocalist for progressive rock band Kansas, has died at age 71. He passed away from complications from acute pancreatitis.
Steinhardt was a classic member of Kansas and performed on the band’s iconic songs “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind.” He anchored the band’s signature violin-driven, symphonic prog-rock sound. He was also co-lead singer and MC’d during concerts.
Steinhardt’s family released a statement following his passing (via Prog magazine):
“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.”
Steinhardt was a member of Kansas from 1972 to 1983, rejoining the band in 1997 before exiting again in 2006. He remained an active musician on his own accord, releasing two full-length LPs with his Steinhardt-Moon project with guitarist Rick Moon in the 1990s. As stated, he had been recording a new album and planning a comeback tour prior to his passing.
Revisit Steinhardt’s finest moments with Kansas below.