Pianists: The Evolution of Emil

Pianist Artur Rubinstein was passing through Odessa one day in 1931 when a piano teacher cornered him and insisted on dragging him off to the local conservatory to hear her pupils. "You know how boring such an ordeal usually is," Rubinstein recalled a few years later. "But by God, there was this boy—short, with a mass of red hair and freckles—who played ... I can't describe it. All I can say is, if he ever comes to the U.S. I might as well pack up my bags and go."

In 1955 Emil Gilels came with full ruffles and flourishes as the...

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