Join the San Francisco musical community, SF Performances favorite Jonathan Biss, and pianist Katherine Jacobson to celebrate native son Leon Fleisher's 90th birthday with this special concert with works by Bach, Kirchner, Schubert, Dvorak and Ravel. Born in San Francisco, Fleisher has enjoyed an epic career, which began with his professional debut at age 16 with the New York Philharmonic when conductor Pierre Monteux called him "the pianistic find of the century." True to Monteux's prophetic words, the pianist is regarded as one of the great performers of the 20th century.
Pianist Leon Fleisher thrives in a sustained career as conductor and soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist, and master class mentor. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1944 and in 1952 became the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium competition, establishing himself as one of the world's premier classical pianists. At the height of his success, he was suddenly struck at age 36 with a neurological affliction, rendering two fingers on his right hand immobile. Rather than end his career, Mr. Fleisher began focusing on repertoire for the left hand only, conducting, and teaching. In the mid-90's he was able to return to playing with both hands after experimental treatments.
Jonathan Biss was born into a family of musicians in Bloomington, Indiana. At the age of 17, Mr. Biss went to the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. Fleisher has said of Mr. Biss, "His ability and interest go for things of transcendence and sublimeness. That made a great impression on me. He took a very healthy road that started with chamber music, both with his mother and then more extensively at places like Ravinia and Marlboro, and he got to be known by the elders in the profession as somebody to look out for."