All about Leon Fleisher.
One of the preeminent pianists of his generation, Leon Fleisher performed with the New York Philharmonic at age 16 under Pierre Monteux who called Fleisher “the pianstic find of the century.” In 1952 he became the first American to win the prestigious Quezen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition. At the height of his success in 1965 he was struck with a neurological affliction later identified as focal dystonia, rendering two fingers of his right hand immobile. For nearly four decades he commissioned and performed works for left hand and turned to conducting. Recently, though special treatments, Fleisher has regained mobility in his right hand and is able to perform with both hands once again. He was a 2007 Kennedy Center Honors recipient and subject of the 2006 Oscar-nominated short documentary Two Hands: The Leon Fleisher Story. Sony Classical recently released a 23-CD box set of Fleisher’s 55 years of recordings.