Music: Kindling a New Flame

Many a first-rate pianist has taken up conducting as a career. For Leonard Bernstein, the late George Szell and Daniel Barenboim, it was largely a matter of having a large and effusive talent—or sheer ambition—that simply had to spread into other fields. When Pianist Leon Fleisher took the podium last week at Manhattan's Philharmonic Hall, however, it was a case of dire necessity. Though he was once the foremost pianist of his generation, his right hand has been partly crippled since 1965, and he is trying to establish himself in a new career.

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