Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fleisher Agonistes

I haven't seen Leon Fleisher in years, but I still love him the way a grateful student always loves an important teacher, and the way a grateful music-lover loves a favorite artist. When I studied at the Peabody Conservatory, I had several coachings with Fleisher when I played sonatas and other chamber music with his students; not only did I always learn a lot, but I also felt he was one of the few people who really recognized and acknowledged whatever my musical gift is, and was much more interested in affirming it--something I really needed--than trying to change me (or his own students) into some sort of surrogate for himself. (Which is how so many otherwise fine teachers destroy the individual musical personality of their students.) I also had the privilege to be the principal cellist of the Annapolis Symphony during the final few seasons in which Fleisher was its music director.

This recent Washington Post op-ed piece by him, which my colleague Scott Spiegelberg pointed out today, is another reason to love him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Leon Fleisher is a really interesting and amazing guy. I had the opportunity to play a piano concerto with him (if only I could remember which one) at Notre Dame a couple years ago. He had lots of really interesting insights for the orchestra. Definitely a rewarding experience!
-Sarah MM