For Immediate Release






The Six Full-Length Releases Include Fleisher’s

Readings of Schubert, Debussy, Ravel,

Mozart, Liszt, Copland and Brahms


In Celebration of the Pianist’s 80th Birthday


Exclusively Offered In Digital Format Through

iTunes and Other Major Digital Service Providers

and as “on demand” CDs through ArkivMusic

Available July 29, 2008


In honor of pianist Leon Fleisher’s 80th birthday on July 23rd, Sony Classical will release for the first time in digital format six full-length recordings, made between 1954 and 1963 that have only been previously available complete on LP. These recordings document Fleisher’s extraordinary artistry in the solo and chamber repertoire before a neurological affliction known as focal dystonia rendered two fingers of his right hand immobile in 1965.


The six recordings are:  

·         Schubert: Sonata  in B-Flat Major, D.960 / Ländler – Leon Fleisher, piano (original LP release  1956)  

·         Debussy: Suite  bergamasque / Ravel: Sonatine / Valses nobles et sentimentales / Alborado  del gracioso – Leon Fleisher, piano (original LP release  1959)

·         Mozart: Sonata in C Major, K.330 / Sonata in E-Flat Major, K.282 / Rondo in D Major, K. 485 – Leon Fleisher, piano (original LP release 1960)

·         Liszt: Sonata in  B Minor / Weber: Sonata No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 70 / Invitation to the Dance,  Op. 65 – Leon Fleisher, piano (original LP release  1960)  

·         Copland: Piano  Sonata / Sessions: From My Diary / Kirchner: Piano Sonata /  Rorem:  Three Barcarolles – Leon Fleisher, piano (original LP release  1963)

·         Brahms: Quintet  for Piano and Strings in F Minor, Op. 34 – Leon Fleisher, piano / Juilliard  String Quartet (original LP release 1963)


The re-releases are available from iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, Zune and other major digital outlets.  iTunes is the only digital vendor to carry the original liner notes by Konrad Wolff and Charles Burr.  Physical CDs, complete with each album’s original cover art and liner notes, are only available through ArkivMusic.


Fleisher has also recorded an exclusive series of podcasts for Sony BMG Masterworks, available on iTunes. His conversation is appealing, relaxed and sincere, as he recounts his early successes and stumbling blocks, most significantly his battle with focal dystonia. He explains his art beautifully but also brings a refreshingly human element to his often-funny interactions with some of the most formidable artists of the 20th century, including Artur Schnabel, George Szell and Leonard Bernstein.  To hear these podcasts go to


Leon Fleisher is among the most revered pianists of his generation. His grace, intelligence, and wide-ranging musical imagination are the hallmark of a storied career that spans over sixty years and encompasses Fleisher’s pursuits as a pianist, conductor, and teacher.  All of these qualities are in ample evidence on these six releases.


Born in 1928, Fleisher led what seemed a charmed musical life. As a nine-year-old, he began studies with the legendary Artur Schnabel before making a sensational debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 16 in 1944. Hailed by conductor Pierre Monteux as the “pianistic find of the century” at the time, he went on to become the first American to win the Queen Elisabeth International competition in Belgium in 1952. He made many recordings, foremost among them his concerto recordings with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, before his career as an international star was cut short in 1965. For the next thirty years, he threw himself avidly into a career as a teacher and conductor with Peabody Conservatory, the Tanglewood Music Center, and Baltimore Symphony, among others.


Recently, following new forms of treatment and therapy, Fleisher has miraculously resumed his performance of two-hand literature. The extraordinary renaissance of Fleisher’s career has been documented in his first two-hand recording in some forty years, the critically acclaimed Two Hands.  The recordings in this re-release, which were once thought to be the final word on Fleisher’s pianism, now stand as a distinguished bookend to an ongoing career, an invaluable marker on his timeline as an artist of the highest distinction. As Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman of the Kennedy Center Honors, said of Fleisher, who was a 2007 honoree, he remains “a consummate musician whose career is a moving testament to the life-affirming power of art.”




RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz are labels of SONY BMG MASTERWORKS. For e-mail updates and information regarding RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, RCA deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz artists, promotions, tours and repertoire, please visit


About ArkivMusic LLC

ArkivMusic - The Source for Classical Music™ ( is an online retailer of classical music focused on offering a vast selection of classical titles through an intuitive interface and a decentralized distribution platform. Since opening its online store in February 2002, ArkivMusic has built the largest selection of classical music recordings in the U.S., with access to over 90,000 titles from over 1,500 labels shipped from 20 distribution centers. In keeping with its mission of preservation, promotion, and efficient distribution of classical music, ArkivMusic’s innovative production-on-demand ArkivCD program allows consumers to find and purchase out-of-print recordings alongside the in-print catalog.






7/24-25                        Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore & Strathmore, MD       
7/30                             Ravinia Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Highland Park, IL
8/8                               Tanglewood – Boston Symphony Orchestra, Lenox, MA
8/20                             La Jolla Music Society, La Jolla, CA

9/13, 14                       Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

9/27                             Germantown Performing Arts Center, Germantown,, TN

10/2                             Carnegie Hall, New York, NY

10/3                             Celebrity Series of Boston, Boston MA

10/5                             Shriver Hall Concert Series, Baltimore, MD

10/11, 12                     Westchester Philharmonic, Purchase, NY

10/16, 18                     San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco, CA

10/17                           San Francisco Symphony, Cupertino, CA

10/22, 23, 24               The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, CA

10/30, 31; 11/1, 2        Detroit Symphony, Detroit, MI

11/7                             Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV

11/14                           Royal Academy of Music, London, UK

11/16                           Wigmore Hall, London, UK  

11/19                           Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, BELGIUM

11/23                           Lucerne Festival, Lucerne, SWITZERLAND

12/5                             The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, CA

12/11, 12                     The New York Philharmonic, New York, NY



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CONTACT:        Susan Schiffer

                        Sony BMG Masterworks




Wende Persons


                        PR @







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