R.I.P 〓 Leon Fleisher, US Pianist

2020/08/04

US pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher died at Baltimore Hospital on the 2nd. He was 92 years old.

He had been treated for cancer, but at the Peabody Conservatory, which had long been a teacher, he taught in a master class until last week.

Born in San Francisco in 1928. In a family of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, his father was a hat-making craftsman.

Under the strong desire of his mother to make son a first-class pianist, he started playing the piano at the age of 4 and made his debut at the age of 8. After that, he studied under Artur Schnabel.

After that, at the age of 16, he performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Pierre Montouux. In 1952, she won her first victory as an American at the Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition in Belgium, and began her brilliant career.

However, in 1965, he suffered from “dystonia = focal ataxia”, paralyzed and deformed his right hand, and stopped playing. He was only 37 years old.

After that, while acting as a left-hand specialist such as Ravel’s left-handed concerto, he taught at the Peabody Conservatory and went on to conduct.

In 1970, he became the music director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and gained recognition as a conductor. From 1992 to 1998 he was also the conductor of the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Then, in the latter half of the 1990s, the right hand playing ability was restored by surgery, botox therapy, and persistent patient rehabilitation.

In 2004, it recorded after an interval of 40 years, and the released solo album “TWO HANDS” attracted much attention.

Fleisher himself was good at Beethoven and Brahms because he studied under Schnabel, but above all, the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by George Szell and the complete Beethoven piano concerto recorded from 1959 are highly regarded.

Photo:Joanne Savio


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