LEON FLEISHER, conductor

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Mr. Fleisher managed to communicate something essential about each composer without trying to mimic a period sound: the orchestra shaded, his own playing clear as water.
— The New York Times

Recognized as one of the world's most revelatory and inspiring musicians,  Leon Fleisher brings to the podium the insights, warmth and humanity that makes his concerts, master classes and residencies such remarkable experiences for musicians and audiences alike.

To Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, he brings a wonderful transparency.  To Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Sibelius, Walton, he brings the spirit of a romantic.  For Bartok, Ligeti, Stravinsky and living composers, there is a sense of adventure.  For all, there are fresh and compelling ideas of rhythm, structure, air between phrases, that illuminate each work he conducts.  He "plays" the instruments of the orchestra with the same passion and poetry that made him a legendary pianist.

Mr. Fleisher closed the Marlboro Music Festival 2014 season leading performances of Bartok’s Divertimento for Strings and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy featuring Mitsuko Uchida as soloist.  It was a performance of the latter work at Marlboro in 2012 that led to an engagement conducting the Cleveland Orchestra in December 2013.  This performance brought Fleisher back to the orchestra with which he made so many historic recordings with George Szell, recordings that remain the benchmark for much of that repertoire.  Other recent conducting engagements include appearances with the Bamberg Symphony, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais in Brazil and orchestras in China and Japan. 

For musicians around the world - from his acclaimed Carnegie Hall workshops to master classes last summer at the Schleswig Holstein and Menuhin Festivals,  to residencies at music schools and conservatories across the country - the lessons learned and insights gained from a Fleisher visit are to be treasured for a lifetime.