Leon was drawn to the piano from an early age. Although he confirmed little curiosity when an older brother, Raymond, was given piano classes, Leon would go to the piano when Raymond went out to play after his classes and repeat, by ear, every part he had heard. He was four years previous.
His mom quickly determined that Leon, slightly than Raymond, ought to research piano. She made her intentions for her youthful son clear: He can be both the primary Jewish president of america or a live performance pianist.
So devoted was his mom to Leon’s musical coaching that after two weeks of kindergarten, throughout which he objected strenuously to nap time, she withdrew him from public college and employed tutors in order that he may commit his time to training the piano. She additionally discovered methods of bringing him to the eye of two San Francisco conductors, Pierre Monteux and Alfred Hertz, who in flip persuaded the pianist Artur Schnabel to take Leon on as a scholar in 1938, when he was 9, regardless of Schnabel’s coverage of not educating kids.
By then Leon had already performed a number of concert events, however Schnabel’s single situation for educating him was that there be no extra concert events. Schnabel relaxed the rule in 1944 and allowed his teenage pupil to play the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor with Monteux and the San Francisco Symphony after which with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Corridor, additionally with Monteux conducting.
Noel Strauss, reviewing the Carnegie Corridor efficiency for The Instances, wrote that Mr. Fleisher, making his New York debut, had “established himself as one of the crucial remarkably gifted of the youthful technology of American keyboard artists.”
In 1945, at the Ravinia summer festival in Illinois, Mr. Fleisher performed the Brahms once more — it grew to become one in all his signature items — in addition to the Liszt Concerto No. 2 in A, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The following summer time at Ravinia, he carried out 4 concertos beneath the path of William Steinberg and Szell, who quickly engaged Mr. Fleisher to carry out with the Cleveland Orchestra, which Szell took over later that 12 months.