Leon Fleisher, at 90, is Leon Fleisher

Leon Fleisher, at 90, is Leon Fleisher


norman lebrecht

July 24, 2018

The Ravinia Festival paid tribute last night to one of the greatest American pianists on his 90th birthday.

He played – and nothing changed.

His former student Lori Kaufmann writes: ‘ There was more music tonight in his rests than in a two hour recital by any other pianist around today. He still has the best sound in the business, and he has a better understanding of rhythm than any musician.’

In a phone interview with Elijah Ho, Fleisher says: ‘Except for my sight, which is fast diminishing, I’m hale, hearty and ambulatory.’



  • Caravaggio says:

    What his student said is music to these ears. Rests, and how to execute well, are so very important in music making. But I notice how so few musicians of any tripe, including singers, have no clue or respect for rests.

  • Barry says:

    I heard him and Katherine do much of the same program earlier this year, and it was an amazing concert. Everything — including the rests — well sculpted, and entirely natural. I was able to see him and Katherine after the concert and he’s truly a character. Happy 90th birthday!

  • Cyril Blair says:

    Many more happy and healthy years to the wonderful Leon Fleisher! Legend.