Fleisher, Leon

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Fleisher, Leon Gender: M
born on 23 July 1928 at 22:20 (= 10:20 PM )
Place San Francisco, California, 37n47, 122w25
Timezone PST h8w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Gauquelin
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 01°05' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 27°17 Asc.s_aricol.18.gif 07°04'

Leon Fleisher


American pianist who could not remember a time when his life did not revolve around a piano. The younger son of a San Francisco hat-maker and his wife, he became a student of renowned Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel when he was nine years old and made his Carnegie Hall debut at 16. At 24, he won the prestigious Queen Elizabeth of Belgium International Music competition and became an instant celebrity. In 1964, he was considered the finest American pianist of his generation.

Over the next ten months, as a result of overwork and pressure from his celebrity status, he suffered paralysis of his right hand. Looking at the possibility that this may be end of a brilliant career, he was so distraught that he considered suicide as a way out. The disease left doctors puzzled until the 1980s when the condition became known as "repetitive stress syndrome" when muscles and tissues are traumatized from repeated overuse.

With his hand so crippled that he could barely write his name, Fleisher went from one therapy to another. Finding conventional treatments to fail, he turned to alternative therapies such as hypnosis, acupuncture and bio-feedback, attending seminars and psychiatric lectures. In February 1995, his third wife, Katherine Jacobson, a pianist and music professor at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, persuaded him to try a form of deep tissue massage called Rolfing. After only three sessions, he felt his right hand begin to loosen.

. Over the 30 years since he left the stage in 1965 he tried seemingly every medical and psychiatric treatment that held a glimmer of hope: acupuncture, hypnosis, a deep-tissue massage called myotherapy, est, L-dopa, steroid

injections, biofeedback, Tiger Balm, and many others. In 1981 he had surgery to alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome

In April 1995, he resumed playing, using both hands with the Washington-based Theater Chamber Players, a group he had co-founded in 1968.

On 1/13/1996, he played his first Carnegie Hall concert in over 30 years in which he used both hands.

At the height of his career, Fleisher's private life had suffered. His first marriage, which produced three kids, failed due to his continual absences on tour. His second marriage, with two kids, fell apart after his injury. He admitted to a funk of self-pity as a contributing factor. He tried playing with his left hand only, a slim repertoire of compositions mainly by Ravel, Prokofiev and Britten that had been commissioned by a wealthy Austrian pianist who had lost his right arm in WW I. Fleisher also moved into conducting and teaching, where his students called him the "Obi-Wan Kenobi of piano teachers." Nothing meant as much as playing and now, as a two-handed piano player, he says that "What happened to me has expanded my life, my awareness, my humanity."


Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Gain social status 1945 (Carnegie Hall debut, age 16)
  • Work : Prize 1953 (Belgium Int. Music competition)
  • Work : Gain social status 1964 (Considered finest American pianist)
  • Health : Job related injury 1965 (Started paralysis of right hand)
  • Health : Medical procedure February 1995 (Started the treatment of "Rolfing" for his hand)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Work April 1995 (Able to achieve playing with both hands again)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Gain social status 13 January 1996 (Appeared again at Carnegie Hall, playing both hands)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Gauquelin Book of American Charts


  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Paralysis (Of right hand, "repetitive stress syndrome")
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Depression (During his hand paralysis)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Two)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Chronic misery (Was not supportive of first two marriages)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Five)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Child performer (Piano from age nine)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Pianist)
  • Vocation : Healing Fields : Alternative methods (Many, including Rolfing)
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Belgium International Music competition)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession