American pianist Leon Fleisher died yesterday in Baltimore at the age of 92. Born in 1928 in San Francisco into a Jewish family, Fleisher started studying the piano at age four. He made his public debut at age eight and played with the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Monteux at 16.

He became one of the few child prodigies to be accepted for study with Artur Schnabel and also studied with Maria Curcio. On the heights of his concert and recording career he was forced by focal dystonia in his right hand to play only the left-hand repertoire. He started conducting and teaching.

After doctors helped him to retrieve the force of his right hand, Vanguard Classics released Leon Fleisher’s first two-handed recording since the 1960s in 2004. A second one was published in 2006.

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