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In Memoriam

CMS Remembers Pianist Leon Fleisher

August 3, 2020
Widya Widjaja

CMS joins the international music community in mourning the death of pianist Leon Fleisher, who passed away Sunday, August 2nd at the age of 92.

Fleisher, who appeared numerous times with our organization, was a performer and teacher whose pianism, musicianship and integrity places him among history’s most influential artistic leaders. His extraordinary biography, currently detailed in the New York Times obituary by Allan Kozinn, is deserving of a careful read. Fleisher’s legendary recordings of the concertos of Beethoven and Brahms, for example, made at a young age with the Cleveland Orchestra, still stand as the definitive interpretations of these works, studied and revered the world over by pianists of the highest stature. His unerring musical instincts have guided not only his colleagues but his devoted students, for whom his passing is undoubtedly an irreparable loss. We had the great privilege of teaching alongside Leon on numerous occasions: as faculty members of the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Encounters in Jerusalem and at Carnegie Hall, and in two chamber workshops that we mounted at CMS and in Taiwan. In addition, we are among the fortunate to have performed and recorded with Leon, and we treasure those experiences as among of our most formative. On behalf of CMS, we send our condolences to Leon’s marvelous family, and we pledge to keep his ideals as alive in our work as they have always been.

David Finckel and Wu Han
Artistic Directors