Pianists: View from the Inside

Lili Kraus, a 58-year-old grandmother, has a crush on Wolfgang and she doesn't care who knows it. When she jetted to Manhattan from Vienna last month, riding alongside her was the nearly life-size bust of Mozart that accompanies her wherever she goes. She came to do him honor in the best way she knows how: by playing all 25 of his piano concertos in nine consecutive concerts, the first time such a feat has been undertaken in the U.S.

Behind her were two years of preparation—eight hours a day devoted to her maxim that "a work of art must be...

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