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Mon Aug 3, 2020, 07:00 PM

Leon Fleisher, 92, Dies; Spellbinding Pianist Using One Hand or Two.

'Unable to use his right hand, he performed pieces written for left hand only, conducted and taught. Years later, he made a triumphant two-handed comeback.

Leon Fleisher, a leading American pianist in the 1950s and early ’60s who was forced by an injury to his right hand to channel his career into conducting, teaching and mastering the left-hand repertoire, died on Sunday in Baltimore. He was 92.

His death, in a hospice, was confirmed by his son Julian, who said that Mr. Fleisher had been teaching and conducting master classes online as recently as last week.

Mr. Fleisher came to believe that his career-altering malady, focal dystonia, was caused by overpracticing — “seven or eight hours a day of pumping ivory,” as he told The New York Times in 1996 — and for 30 years he tried virtually any cure that looked promising: shots of lidocaine, rehabilitation therapy, psychotherapy, shock treatments, Rolfing, EST. At times, he said, he was so despondent that he considered suicide.

But he realized that the musicality and incisiveness that had been so widely admired in his early years could be mined in other ways. Joining the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, in Baltimore, in 1959, he devoted himself more fully to teaching, both there and at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was artistic director from 1986 to 1997.'>>>

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/02/arts/music/leon-fleisher-dead.html?

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Reply Leon Fleisher, 92, Dies; Spellbinding Pianist Using One Hand or Two. (Original post)
elleng Aug 3 OP
regnaD kciN Aug 3 #1
unblock Aug 3 #2
mahatmakanejeeves Aug 4 #3
elleng Aug 4 #4

Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 07:06 PM

1. R.I.P. to one of the greats...

...we can only speculate how much more he would have left the world had he not been rendered unable to play for much of what should have been the prime years of his career.


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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2020, 07:22 PM

2. Reminds me of an episode of m*a*s*h

"Morale victory", wherein Winchester saves his patient's leg using nerve tissue from his hand only to later learn his patient was a concert pianist.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 06:42 PM

3. At 90, SF Piano Great Leon Fleisher Continues to Inspire

At 90, SF Piano Great Leon Fleisher Continues to Inspire

By Elijah Ho
Jul 23, 2018

In a recent conversation with the Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko, the subject turned to Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, a work recorded by virtually every pianist of renown, dead or alive. I raved about the electrifying recordings of William Kapell and Dimitri Mitropoulos, Vladimir Horowitz and Arturo Toscanini. Demidenko dismissed them all.

“The benchmark for me is [Leon] Fleisher’s recording with [George] Szell,” he said with a calm, serious tone in his voice, referring to the preeminent San Francisco-born pianist's collaboration with the late conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. “Fleisher’s recording is unsurpassed. What an agile, brilliant mind. And what a very interesting man. I have great respect for him.”

Leon Fleisher is ninety years old today. One of the most refined and transcendent musicians the United States has ever produced, he continues to inspire generations of musicians as a teacher, mentor and performer.



Brahms / Leon Fleisher, 1958: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 - G Szell
25,560 views•Apr 23, 2014

davidhertzberg
47.7K subscribers

In this 1958 recording, thirty year old American pianist Leon Fleisher performs the Brahms' first piano concerto, Op. 15. George Szell leads the Cleveland Orchestra. Digitized from the LP shown above, released on the EPIC label in 1959, catalogue number LC 3484.

Maestoso (0:19)
Adagio (21:37)
Rondo (Allegro non troppo) (36:20)

{snip}

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 4, 2020, 06:48 PM

4. THANK YOU!

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