Musician with dystonia: 'I considered suicide'

Musician with dystonia: 'I considered suicide'


norman lebrecht

February 17, 2012

Leon Fleisher  is one of the best-known sufferers from this neurological disorder.  He describes how it pushed him to the brink (start at 3:50)


  • Very interesting. Look at that (tight?) muscle in his right hand below the 5th finger. As a pianist I cringe to look at it. Is this the result of dystonia? Or perhaps even what caused it (tight technique)? Or maybe just his natural anatomy?

    Does anyone know if dystonia seems to be directly related to overly tight muscle technique? Or is it unrelated? I struggled with nerve issues for years- sudden shocks from elbows to fingers followed by numbness. This was in part due to anatomy (narrow wrists), but also in part to over-practice and poor technique which I eventually overcame. Teachers need to be very aware of tight muscle issues, I had to learn by trial and error.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    How nice that US TV devotes 8 minutes to a great classical musician, even if it is a public channel.

    And here is a link to a recording from the 2000s: