Leon Fleisher Wiki – Leon Fleisher Biography
How Leon Fleisher died He was, a leading American pianist in the 1950s and early ’60s who was forced by an injury to his right hand to channel his Dies at the age of 92
The pianist Leon Fleisher at his home in Baltimore in 2007. Unable to play with his right hand for 30 years, he performed pieces written for the left hand only until 1995.
I am so sad to share this news. I worked with Leon on his memoir, “My Nine Lives,” and it was a privilege to get to spend so much time with one of the titans of 20th-century music & be able to ask him anything I wanted. Condolences to the Fleisher family. https://t.co/fJJSZwL7cQ
— Anne Midgette (@classicalbeat) August 3, 2020
Leon Fleisher Cause of death
Leon Fleisher, a prominent American pianist in the 1950s and early 60s, had to injure his right hand to direct his career to the practice, teaching and mastering of the left repertoire, he died on Sunday in Baltimore. He was 92 years old.
Leon Fleisher, one of America’s most beloved and resourceful pianists, has died. He was 92. https://t.co/04XBF7rFjg
— NPR (@NPR) August 3, 2020
His death in a hospital was confirmed by his son Julian, who said that Mr Fleisher gave online master classes as soon as possible last week.
Fleisher Short Biography
Leon Fleisher was an American classical pianist, conductor and pedagogue. He was one of the most renowned pianists and pedagogues in the world. Music correspondent Elijah Ho called him “one of the most refined and transcendent musicians the United States has ever produced”. Wikipedia
- Born: July 23, 1928, San Francisco, California, United States
- Died: August 2, 2020
- Instruments played: Piano
- Albums: Two Hands, All the Things You Are, MORE
- Nominations: Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo
- Record labels: Sony Classical Records, Audite, Epic Records,
Leon Fleisher Life Story
Mr. Fleisher began to believe that his illness, which changed his career, was due to over-treatment because of focal dystonia “pumping seven or eight hours a day ivory”, as he told the New York Times in 1996, and almost tried it for 30 years. any treatment that looks promising: lidocaine shots, rehabilitation therapy, psychotherapy, shock treatments, Rolfing, EST. He said that sometimes he was as hopeless as he thought of suicide.
However, in his early years, he realized that so much acclaimed musicality and cuteness could be removed in other ways. While attending the Peabody Conservatory faculty in Baltimore in 1959, he dedicated himself to teaching both there and at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was an art director from 1986 to 1997.
For pianist Paul Wittgenstein (brother of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein) who lost his right arm during the First World War, Ravel passed through the left hand catalog estimated by Prokofiev and others and commissioned it. Works from the left are from American composers. He helped launch the Theater Chamber Actors in Washington. And he started to work as a chief.
Finally, a combination of Rolfing and Botox injections, a deep massage technique, provided enough relief as he could continue his career as a two-hand pianist in 1995. Recitals and concertos continued to play and record until last year.
Mr. Fleisher stated that after his return he did not fully recover and will never happen. But later in life, he admitted that the weakening of his right hand in 1964 gave him a more diverse musical life than he could have had if a traditional career could continue as a virtuoso pianist.
This awareness is covered in his autobiography “Nine Lives: Many Career Memories in Music” (2010), which he wrote with music critic Anne Midgette.
Early in his career as a pianist, Mr. Fleisher produced a warm, sharply engraved and thoughtful contoured sound ideal for the illuminating reading of the 19th century Viennese classics – Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert. From contemporary American composers such as Liszt and Roger Sessions and Aaron Copland.
The records of George Szell and Cleveland Orchestra and Brahms and Beethoven piano concertos from 1958 to 1963 are considered among the most lively and active accounts of these works.
In the 1990s he recorded fascinating performances of the summits of the left repertoire, including Ravel, Prokofiev and Britten concerts, Korngold and Schmidt’s chamber music, and solo works by Saint-Saëns, Godowsky, and Bach (Brahms’ left hand). Partita No. for solo violin. Chaconne arrangement from 2).
Even after returning to record two-handed works, he continued to revisit his left-handed works for thirty years in his albums “Iki El” (2004) and “Yolculuk” (2006).
In the album “You Are Everything” (2014), not only the arrangements on the left side of Gershwin’s song “The Man I Love” and Jerome Kern, which gave the collection its name, but also from George Perle. There were also pieces composed for Fleisher. and a broad reassessment of Leon Kirchner and Bach-Brahms Chaconne.
Leon Fleisher Complete Biography – Wikipedia
Leon Fleisher (July 23, 1928 – August 2, 2020) was an American classical pianist, conductor and pedagogue. He was one of the most renowned pianists and pedagogues in the world. Music correspondent Elijah Ho called him “one of the most refined and transcendent musicians the United States has ever produced”.
Born in San Francisco, Fleisher began playing piano at the age of four, and began studying with Artur Schnabel by age nine. He was particularly well known for his interpretations of the two piano concertos of Brahms and the five concertos of Beethoven, which he recorded with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. With Szell, he also recorded concertos by Mozart, Grieg, Schumann, Franck, and Rachmaninoff.
In 1964, he lost the use of his right hand, which forced him to focus on the repertoire for the left hand, such as Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and many compositions written for him. In 2004, he played the world premiere of Paul Hindemith’s Klaviermusik, a piano concerto for the left hand completed in 1923, with the Berlin Philharmonic. He regained some control of his right hand then, and played and recorded two-hand repertoire.
He was also notable as a conductor, and especially as a teacher at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music and others. He was a Kennedy Center Honors awardee in 2007, among many distinctions.
Early life and Education
Fleisher was born on July 23, 1928, in San Francisco into a poor Jewish family, to immigrant parents from Eastern Europe. His father’s business was hat-making, while his mother’s goal was to “make her son a great concert pianist”. Fleisher started studying the piano at age four. He made his public debut at age eight. At age nine, he became one of the few child prodigies to be accepted for study with Artur Schnabel who taught him in a tradition that descended directly from Beethoven through Carl Czerny and Theodor Leschetizky. He also studied with Maria Curcio and Karl Ulrich Schnabel. Fleisher played with the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Monteux at age 16, and Monteux called him “the pianistic find of the century.”
Performer and recording artist
In the 1950s, Fleisher signed an exclusive recording contract with Columbia Masterworks. He was particularly well known for his interpretations of the piano concerti of Brahms and Beethoven, which he recorded with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. They also recorded Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, the Grieg and Schumann piano concertos, Franck’s Symphonic Variations, and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
In 1964, Fleisher lost the use of his right hand, due to a condition that was eventually diagnosed as focal dystonia. In 1967, Fleisher commenced performing and recording the left-handed repertoire while searching for a cure for his condition. His first choice was Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. In addition, he undertook conducting beginning in 1968, and became associate conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 1973, and music director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. In the 1990s, Fleisher was able to ameliorate his focal dystonia symptoms after experimental botox injections to the point where he could play with both hands again.
In 2004, Vanguard Classics released Fleisher’s first “two-handed” recording since the 1960s, entitled Two Hands, to critical acclaim. Two Hands is also the title of a short documentary on Fleisher by Nathaniel Kahn which was nominated for an Academy Award for best short subject on January 23, 2007. Fleisher received the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors. Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman described him as “a consummate musician whose career is a moving testament to the life-affirming power of art.”
Fleisher’s musical interests extended beyond the central German Classic-Romantic repertoire. The American composer William Bolcom composed his Concerto for Two Pianos, Left Hand for Fleisher and his close friend Gary Graffman, who has also suffered from debilitating problems with his right hand. It received its first performance in Baltimore in April 1996. The concerto is so constructed that it can be performed in one of three ways, with either piano part alone with reduced orchestra, or with both piano parts and the two reduced orchestras combined into a full orchestra. Composers who wrote music for him also included Lukas Foss, Leon Kirchner and Gunther Schuller.
In 2004, Fleisher played the world premiere of Paul Hindemith’s Klaviermusik (Piano Concerto for the Left Hand), Op. 29, with the Berlin Philharmonic. This work was written in 1923, for Paul Wittgenstein, who disliked and refused to play it. However, he had sole performing rights and kept the score, not allowing any other pianists to play it.
The manuscript was discovered among his papers after the death of his widow in 2002. On October 2, 2005, Fleisher played the American premiere of the work, with the San Francisco Symphony under Herbert Blomstedt. In 2012, at the invitation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Fleisher performed at the Supreme Court of the United States.
He continued to be involved in music, both conducting and teaching at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto; he was also closely associated with the Tanglewood Music Center. With Dina Koston, he co-founded and co-directed the Theater Chamber Players in 1968–2003, which was the first resident chamber ensemble of the Smithsonian Institution and of The Kennedy Center.
His memoir, My Nine Lives, co-written with the Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette, came out in November 2010.
Fleisher died of cancer in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 2, 2020, at age 92.