We heard him in recital once in Miami – a humble, gentle, courteous, and generous man with a magic touch but still unable to use his right hand due to focal dystonia, a disability caused by the rigors of a much-too-busy playing schedule. Fleisher played the entire repertory of piano for the left hand, taught, conducted well into his 80’s, and even concertized after a late-career recovery of the use of his right hand. Leon Fleisher could out play any other pianist ever even without a usable right hand.
She sang for close to fifty years. At first, her mid-weight lyric voice allowed her to dominate a portion of the Italian repertory. She was a lovely Susanna and Nanetta, a superb Micaela, and later in her career she took on with success heavier roles: Desdemona and Tatiana. As a student in New York and later while living and working there Mirella Freni broke my heart as Mimi in the Zeffirelli production of La boheme.