Oral history of Leon Fleisher
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Leon Fleisher was born July 23, 1928 in San Francisco, California and began studying piano at the age of four. A noted child prodigy, Fleisher became a student of Artur Schnabel at the age of nine, after which Fleisher's career in piano began in earnest. In 1964, he began to suffer from focal dystonia, a condition that cost him the use of his right hand until corrected in the mid-1990s. Fleisher is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recepient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award (2007), and the Andrew W. Mellon Chair at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins. In this oral history, Fleisher describes his early career and mentors, his experiences with the Peabody Institute and Baltimore, and the history of the Peabody Institute, including its formal association with Johns Hopkins in 1978. This oral history is part of the Mame Warren oral histories series.