« A night with 'Boheme' and thoughts of Baltimore's operatic future | Main | Pulitzer-winning work by David Lang superbly presented by Evolution Contemporary Music Series »

December 6, 2010

Peabody salutes Leon Fleisher's new memoir with talk, book-signing

"My Nine Lives" makes an apt title for Leon Fleisher's just-published memoir, written with Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette.

The brilliant pianist's career took many a turn, especially after he lost the use of his right hand in 1965. The Baltimore-based Fleisher, now 82, built a formidable career as a left-hand keyboard artist, conductor and teacher.

In recent years, he managed to resume two-hand performs, thanks largely to Botox therapy, and that return was warmly celebrated throughout the music world.

Fleisher is a formidable force, shaped by a fascinating and eventful life that is recounted in the new book from Doubleday. In addition to all the expected biographical matters, the chapters are interspersed with Fleisher's extensive, compelling insights into piano works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Ravel.

Fleisher, a longtime faculty member at the Peabody Institute, will be joined by Midgette for a talk about the book at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Bank of America Lounge on the Peabody campus. A book-signing follows.


Posted by Tim Smith at 11:44 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Classical, Clef Notes

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
View the Artsmash blog

Baltimore Sun coverage
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop
Famous faces in classical music
Sign up for FREE entertainment alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Most Recent Comments
Stay connected