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Leon Fleisher

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By Stephen Hunter | November 28, 1996
"Shine," the deliriously well-reviewed movie about the brilliant but dysfunctional Australian pianist David Helfgott, will be introduced and discussed by world-renowned pianist Leon Fleisher at Cinema Sundays at the Charles on Sunday."Shine" was directed by Scott Hicks and stars Armin Mueller-Stahl, Lynn Redgrave, Geoffrey Rush and Sir John Gielgud; it won the audience's most popular award at the Toronto Film Festival.The doors open at 10 a.m., and the screening begins at 10: 30 a.m. Coffee and pastry will be served.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Everything music lovers have long admired about pianist Leon Fleisher - penetrating intellect, technical authority, uncommon expressive power - are reconfirmed on "All the Things You Are," a thoroughly engrossing CD from Bridge Records devoted primarily to music for left hand alone. It's a great reminder that this octogenarian can communicate more with five fingers than many a younger pianist does with 10. Fleisher lost the use of his right hand in 1965, six years after he joined the Peabody Conservatory faculty, due to what was eventually diagnosed as focal dystonia.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2013
Longtime record collectors will have previous incarnations of releases in the 23-compact disc boxed set, "Leon Fleisher: The Complete Album Collection" from Sony Classical. Ultra-serious collectors, of course, will still have the original LPs from the 1950s and '60s weighing down shelves (artwork and liner notes from those vinyl days are reproduced here on the CD sleeves). But it's still great to have Fleisher's recorded legacy on the Columbia Masterworks/Epic and Sony Classical labels gathered in one tidy box. Make that treasure-trove.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 12, 2014
Baltimore arts patrons Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker have donated $1 million to the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University to establish scholarships for students of near-legendary pianist and veteran Peabody faculty artist Leon Fleisher. In a statement released Monday, Meyerhoff called the 85-year-old Fleisher "quite simply, one of the great musicians of our time," one who "attracts stellar pianistic talents to the Peabody Institute from all over the world. " The new donation follows the $1 million Meyerhoff and Becker donated in recent years to support an endowment for undergraduate piano scholarships.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
Well, that was exhilarating. The Peabody Symphony Orchestra's concert Thursday night delivered some impressive sonic power, with the near-legendary Leon Fleisher providing the ignition. Most celebrated as a pianist of uncommon insight, Fleisher began conducting decades ago when, due to focal dystonia, he lost use of his right hand. He brings to the podium the same striving for musical honesty and communicative depth that has always characterized his keyboard work (one- or two-handed)
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2013
On an upper floor of the Peabody Conservatory the other day, the sound of a piano played by a single hand could be heard coming from Leon Fleisher's studio. Even through the closed, thick door, there was no mistaking the authority behind that sound. Fleisher, who turned 85 on July 23, remains one of the most compelling pianists in the world, whether playing with one hand or two - only for the past dozen or so years, thanks to Botox injections, has he enjoyed limited reuse of his right hand, immobilized nearly five decades ago because of focal dystonia.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | November 1, 1990
In the years since 1965, when a mysterious hand ailment destroyed his two-handed piano career, Leon Fleisher has played almost all the important left-handed concertos for piano and orchestra. Not until Monday night, however, had Fleisher given a left-handed solo recital. That recital in Charleston, S.C., will be followed Saturday night by one in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater -- a benefit for the Theater Chamber Players, of which Fleisher is music director.Playing a recital is much tougher than a concerto, Fleisher says.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 20, 2011
Jonathan Biss, the young pianist who makes his Carnegie Hall recital debut on Friday and will repeat the program at the slightly more modest Shriver Hall on Sunday, could easily have become a violinist. But as he tells it on the bio page of his website, "the highlight of his career as a violinist took place when he was a fetus. " A few months before his birth in Indiana in 1980, Biss writes, "he performed, prenatally, the Mozart A major Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall, with the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Lorin Maazel.
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By Daniel Schlosberg and Daniel Schlosberg,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 4, 2001
When Edward Polochick described Leon Fleisher, his onetime teacher, as "in my book, the greatest musician alive today," he wasn't being obsequious. Classical musicians in Baltimore adore Fleisher as baseball fans adore Cal Ripken, and Sunday's "Beethoven Spectacular," in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Polochick's Concert Artists of Baltimore ensemble, was a testament to Fleisher's legacy as pianist, teacher, musical philosopher and cultural force....
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 25, 1999
It is 40 years since Leon Fleisher's appointment as Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Piano at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. The conservatory celebrates the anniversary this week with a three-day festival in Fleisher's honor.The festival concludes Wednesday evening with a black-tie, by- invitation-only dinner in the George Peabody Library. Actress Claire Bloom will act as mistress of ceremonies to titled nobility and musical luminaries who have come from all over the globe to honor Fleisher.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
Well, that was exhilarating. The Peabody Symphony Orchestra's concert Thursday night delivered some impressive sonic power, with the near-legendary Leon Fleisher providing the ignition. Most celebrated as a pianist of uncommon insight, Fleisher began conducting decades ago when, due to focal dystonia, he lost use of his right hand. He brings to the podium the same striving for musical honesty and communicative depth that has always characterized his keyboard work (one- or two-handed)
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By Mike Giuliano | February 6, 2014
Yury Shadrin and Tian Lu have got the keyboard covered for an upcoming Sundays at Three concert. This husband and wife duo will play music written for piano four hands on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m., at Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia. Besides their joint performances as Shadrin and Lu, they have individual performing careers. Those busy schedules include much activity on the local classical music scene. As a duo, they were finalists in the 2013 Rising Stars competition that is part of the Howard County Arts Council's annual Celebration of the Arts.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2013
On an upper floor of the Peabody Conservatory the other day, the sound of a piano played by a single hand could be heard coming from Leon Fleisher's studio. Even through the closed, thick door, there was no mistaking the authority behind that sound. Fleisher, who turned 85 on July 23, remains one of the most compelling pianists in the world, whether playing with one hand or two - only for the past dozen or so years, thanks to Botox injections, has he enjoyed limited reuse of his right hand, immobilized nearly five decades ago because of focal dystonia.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2013
Longtime record collectors will have previous incarnations of releases in the 23-compact disc boxed set, "Leon Fleisher: The Complete Album Collection" from Sony Classical. Ultra-serious collectors, of course, will still have the original LPs from the 1950s and '60s weighing down shelves (artwork and liner notes from those vinyl days are reproduced here on the CD sleeves). But it's still great to have Fleisher's recorded legacy on the Columbia Masterworks/Epic and Sony Classical labels gathered in one tidy box. Make that treasure-trove.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2013
Weekends are wonderfully musical around here, offering, more often than not, too many events for any one listener to take in, without benefit of helicopter or cloning. The choices I made last weekend paid handsome dividends. On Saturday night at the Gordon Center, which boasts some of the most satisfying acoustics around, the Concert Artists of Baltimore, led by Edward Polochick, delivered a typically diverse program in typically dynamic fashion. When it comes to our local professional orchestras, the Baltimore Symphony rightly holds pride of place; it's one of America's finest, after all. To my ears, the next ensemble in any Baltimore-area ranking would have to be Concert Artists, which, more often than not, plays way beyond its pay scale and produces a sound much richer than its size would suggest.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 20, 2011
Jonathan Biss, the young pianist who makes his Carnegie Hall recital debut on Friday and will repeat the program at the slightly more modest Shriver Hall on Sunday, could easily have become a violinist. But as he tells it on the bio page of his website, "the highlight of his career as a violinist took place when he was a fetus. " A few months before his birth in Indiana in 1980, Biss writes, "he performed, prenatally, the Mozart A major Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall, with the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Lorin Maazel.
NEWS
By David Lindauer and David Lindauer,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 5, 1997
Some great music-making is going on in Annapolis these days. And nowhere was this more evident than at Maryland Hall Friday and Saturday, when Leon Fleisher led the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in three challenging works that provided a short tour of the Austrian and German repertoire.The first stop was the classical period, represented by Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12, which Fleisher, the orchestra's former music director, conducted from the keyboard.Fleisher drew graceful string playing from his orchestra, then repeated those musical lines in his crisp, direct keyboard style.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2010
Leon Fleisher drolly dubs the program "duets for pets" — a concert to benefit Baltimore Animal and Rescue Care Shelter Inc. The celebrated pianist will be joined by his wife, Katherine Jacobson, an accomplished keyboard artist in her own right, for the June 4 fundraiser at the Peabody Institute. Both are on the faculty there, Fleisher for more than 50 years. The two musicians are longtime supporters of BARCS. "We're very impressed with the staff and their deep commitment to giving animals a chance at a new lease on life," Jacobson says.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2008
THEATER 'Broadway: Three Generations' Actress Shirley Jones hosts this three-act evening of abridged concert performances of Girl Crazy, Bye Bye Birdie and Side Show. The show tracks the development of the Broadway musical over three generations of composers. See Broadway: Three Generations at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington, today through Sunday. Performances vary. Tickets cost $25-$90. Go to kennedy-center.org. Mary Carole McCauley Poet Joy Harjo Enjoy a family-focused afternoon of poetry and nature with Native American poet Joy Harjo.
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