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Obituaries

Classical Pianist and Conductor Leon Fleisher Dies at 92

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Classical Pianist and Conductor Leon Fleisher Dies at 92

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that Leon Fleisher, classical pianist and conductor, has died at age 92.

Fleisher began playing piano at the age of four, and began studying with Artur Schnabel at age nine. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic at just 16.

Fleisher is 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.

In 1964, Fleisher lost the use of his right hand, due to a neurological condition, causing him to take two years off of performing. He then returned to the keys, taking on left-hand-only works by Ravel, Prokofiev and Britten.

Fleisher regained the use of his right hand in the 90s, following new treatments. He went on to record two new albums of music for two hands. In 2006, an Oscar-nominated documentary, called Two Hands, was released.

In addition to his performance work, Fleisher 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.



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