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US pianist gets summoned before Supreme Court (don’t worry, he’s innocent)

It’s Leon Fleisher, and he has been summoned to play next Wednesday by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Here’s a letter that has gone out from his agent, Frank Salomon:


Although many may question the decisions of the Supreme Court, no one will deny that Leon Fleisher playing for the Justices on May 16 is one of the Court’s best actions in years.  It is Justice Ginsburg who instigated an annual musical experience for her colleagues at the Court, but we’re sure that the artistry and humanity of Leon Fleisher will be one of the rare cases to receive the unanimous approval of the nine Justices.
Leon’s appearance before “the highest court in the land” comes at the end of another remarkable season in which the legendary pianist proved once again that 80 is the new 60.


If you are going to be in Dallas, I hope that we can get together for a drink or a short chat about Leon and our other very special artists (Table P).  Please let Chris Williams or me know what times might be good for you.


Thanks and greetings,


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  1. richard carlisle says:

    Heart warming and inspiring story– thanks kindly, Mr. Lebrecht.

  2. Daniel Farber says:

    It speaks extremely well for Ruth Bader-Ginsburg that she has asked Leon Fleisher (and not one of the hoard of “celebrity” concert pianists) to appear before the Court. Although Fleisher doesn’t “need” the public honor, there is something entirely deserved and appropriate in this performance. His quick rise to prominence at a very young age (supported and espoused by great older musicians–Schnabel, Monteux, Szell), the debilitating injury that derailed him and, as a result, his determination both to vary his career directions and to fight and partially triumph over adversity is somehow a very “American” story.

  3. I agree with Richard, great story. I hope I can prove that 80 is the 60 when I get there!

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