Music: The Sound of Two Hands Playing

Crippled for 17 years, Leon Fleisher makes a stirring comeback

A friend suggested that he shave off his beard and call himself Noel Rehsielf, which is his name spelled backward. But Leon Fleisher said he would go on, which is no spelled backward. To demonstrate to the world that, after 17 years, he could once again range up and down a piano keyboard with both hands, he chose the most visible occasion he could find: the inauguration last week of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's $23 million Joseph Meyerhoff Hall.

He had originally planned to play...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!