A year later he began studying with the great German pianist Artur Schnabel
, and by age 16, in 1944, made his Carnegie Hall debut playing with Pierre Monteux and the New York Philharmonic.
Misha traces his musical lineage to the two great pianistic traditions of the twentieth century: the Russian romantic school, as personified by Lhevinne, and the German classical style, which was passed on to him by Aube Tzerko, a pupil of Artur Schnabel
, for whom technique (mightily impressive nevertheless) took second place to intellectual insight and grasp, is warmly accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the then Dr Malcolm Sargent in readings of the Third and Fourth Concerti set down in 1933.
What was also evident was a rambunctious, freewheeling pianism--what the young Artur Schnabel
noted as Brahms's "creative vitality and wonderful carelessness.
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.
He also responds to subjective criticism of certain of his favored performers and performance styles with equally subjective belittling of pianists, such as Artur Schnabel
and Alfred Brendel, whom he regards as being in an opposing camp.
Acclaimed from his youth as one of the most remarkable pianists of his time -- the legendary conductor Pierre Monteux hailed him, when he was only 15, as "the pianistic find of the century" -- Leon Fleisher was a student of Artur Schnabel
and made his New York Philharmonic debut in 1944, when he was only 16.
She shows that the performance and music journalism societies of Vienna also fell into these camps: the critics Eduard Hanslick, Max Kalbeck, and Richard Heuberger as well as Gustav Mahler, Alexander Zemlinsky, Heinrich Schenker, Artur Schnabel
, and Schoenberg joined the Tonkunstlerverein (Society of Musicians); Maximilian Muntz, Georg von Schonerer, and Anton Bruckner joined the Wagner-Verein (Wagner Society).
Cohn's advocacy of such varied and generally unfashionable or "difficult" twentieth-century composers as Ernest Bloch, Isadore Freed, Reynaldo Hahn, Roy Harris, Charles Ives, Otto Luening, and Artur Schnabel
The very concept of a "best" pianist, or even of a "best" performance of a Beethoven sonata is ludicrous: one need only compare recorded versions by Artur Schnabel
, Sviatoslav Richter, and Malcolm Bilson (to mention three exceptional Beethoven interpreters and noncompetitors) to realize that music lends itself to a fascinating (and perhaps unlimited) number of probings by inquisitive minds, whose "results" are not quantifiable by any commonly accepted yardstick.