Pianist Leon Fleisher Gives American Premiere of Long-Lost Hindemith Concerto for Left Hand

Classic Arts News   Pianist Leon Fleisher Gives American Premiere of Long-Lost Hindemith Concerto for Left Hand
 
Pianist Leon Fleisher joins the San Francisco Symphony tonight for the American premiere of Paul Hindemith's Piano Music with Orchestra (Piano: Left Hand).

Fleisher, who recently recovered the use of his right hand after decades of suffering from the neurological disorder dystonia, remains the world's leading performing of piano music for the left hand. He gave the world premiere of the long-lost work in December 2004 with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Paul Wittgenstein, a wealthy pianist who lost his right hand during World War I, commissioned the piece from Hindemith in 1923, one of a series of left-hand works he commissioned from such composers as Korngold, Strauss, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Britten. According to tonight's program notes, Wittgenstein never performed the Hindemith piece, probably because it was too modern for him, and prevented it from being published. It disappeared from view until 2002, when the score turned up among Wittgenstein's possessions in a Pennsylvania farmhouse. In 2004, it was published by Schott.

Tonight's program, which repeats on October 7 and 8, also includes Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12 and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. SFS conductor laureate Herbert Blomstedt conducts.


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