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Musical Heritage

Leon Fleisher

First Aired May 24, 2021
video Adult Education

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American pianist Leon Fleisher (1928-2020), despite a career curtailed by hand injury at the age of only thirty-six, leaves a legacy as a titan among pianists and indeed among all musicians. With a lineage of teachers reaching directly back to Beethoven, Fleisher commanded a position of unrivaled authority in the interpretation of the greatest classical composers, from Mozart to Beethoven to Brahms. His recordings of the concertos of Beethoven and Brahms are definitive and essential references for all pianists, and his impact as the most insightful and eloquent of teachers is legendary.

Our hosts, pianist Gloria Chien and violinist Soovin Kim, will reveal the life and work of one of the greatest artists of our age. Joining the panel is Leon Fleisher’s son Julian Fleisher, himself a musician; longtime friend of Leon Fleisher and acclaimed pianist and mentor, Gary Graffman; and former student of Leon Fleisher, acclaimed pianist, and CMS Bowers Program alum, Jonathan Biss.

The program also features pre-recorded reminiscences and words from Deborah Fleisher, Dickie Fleisher, Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, Leah Fleisher, Paula Fleisher; and Gilbert Kalish, Jaime Laredo, Shirley Perle, Sharon Robinson, and André Watts.

Originally aired May 24, 2021

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Gloria Chien