Leon Fleisher, pianist and conductor
Photo Credit: Koichi Miura
Legendary pianist Leon Fleisher represents the highest standard of musicianship and, at 85 years young, he continues to impart his life-affirming artistry throughout the world, thriving in a sustained career as conductor and soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist, and master class mentor.
Highlights of Mr. Fleisher’s 2013-2014 season in this country include appearances as soloist with the Boston Symphony with Kazushi Ono, the Chicago Symphony with James Conlon, and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Jaime Laredo conducting some of the country's most gifted young (15 to 22 year-old) musicians. As a conductor, he will be heard with The Cleveland Orchestra and Mitsuko Uchida and as a conductor/soloist with the Naples Philharmonic where he will be conducting a world premiere with three of his children and a daughter-in-law as harp soloists. He will perform recitals and give master classes nationally and around the world and he will conduct the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and appear as soloist with orchestra in Karlsruhe, Germany. His chamber music highlights include performances at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas with the Juilliard Quartet, in the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts series in New York with the Dover String Quartet, and at the Eastman School of Music with the Ying Quartet. He is making a new recording for Bridge Records including left-hand works written for him and the Bach/Brahms Chaconne.
In the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Fleisher’s engagements include performances and master classes in Switzerland (master classes at the University and a recital at the Lucerne Festival), Germany (as conductor/soloist of the Bamberg Symphony and playing chamber music at the Tonhalle in Duesseldorf)) , Brazil (Ravel Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro) , France (master classes in Strasbourg), conducting in Taiwan and Japan, and performing in halls across the United States.
A recipient of numerous honors and awards, Mr. Fleisher received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in 2007. In 2006, he was the subject of the 2006 Oscar and Emmy-nominated documentary film Two Hands. His recent memoir, My Nine Lives: A Memoir of Many Careers in Music, which he co-wrote with Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette, is published by Doubleday. Most recently, Baltimore philanthropists Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker established the Leon Fleisher Scholars Fund for piano students at the Peabody Conservatory, an endowment of over $1,000,000.
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WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
“Mr. Fleisher managed to communicate something essential about each composer without trying to mimic a period sound: the orchestra shaded, his own playing clear as water.”
The New York Times
“Both the sustained loveliness of the strings and Fleisher’s ability to make the piano follow suit provoked an awed silence throughout the hall. It was as if the music were saying, ‘Now, this is important. Pay attention’.”
San Francisco Classical Voice
"In the Mozart department, I caught the BSO's Friday and Saturday night programs. A highlight was Leon Fleisher's glowing rendition of the slow movement from the Piano Concerto No. 12, which brimmed with a kind of quiet autumnal wisdom."
The Boston Globe
The Leon Fleisher Collection, from Peabody's Friedheim Library, provides a digital copy of Leon Fleisher's extensive archives.