Leon Fleisher Scholars Fund gets $1 million from Robert Meyerhoff, Rheda Becker
Baltimore philanthropists Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker pledged $750,000 Monday to the Leon Fleisher Scholars Fund for piano students at the Peabody Conservatory.
This gift, to be paid over the next few years, will bring the total contribution from Meyerhoff and Becker to $1 million by 2016.
The couple launched the endowed scholarship fund, named for the famed pianist and 53-year veteran of the Peabody faculty, with a $250,000 donation in 2009.
“We hope this gift will raise the profile of Peabody and help the school compete with other top conservatories for the very best piano students worldwide,” said Meyerhoff in a statement released Monday.
Fleisher, who in recent years resumed limited two-hand performances after focal dystonia prevented the use of his right hand for several decades, had high praised for the donors.
“When strewing her seeds of talent among the young, ...
Since the Fleisher Scholars Fund was established, 85 other donors have contributed about $234,000. It is expected that the fund will provide two full-time scholarships each year.
The Meyerhoff-Becker gift will be publicly celebrated at a concert by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra Tuesday night. Fleisher, who built a successful career as a conductor after the onset of the right-hand damage, will lead the ensemble in an all-Brahms program.
A Fleisher student, Yuri Shadrin, winner of the 2011 Yale Gordon Concerto Competition, will be the soloist in the Piano Concerto No. 2, one of the works Fleisher owned in his keyboard prime. Symphony No. 3 rounds out the concert.
PHOTO BY RENEE FISCHER