Leon Kirchner (1919-2009)
17 Sep 2009
Aisle Be Seeing You

Composer Leon Kirchner has died at 90 years of age.

Kirchner's work was performed on the Celebrity Series by at least four performers. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed a transcription of Duo in 1988, pianist Peter Serkin performed Interlude in 1990, pianist Max Levinson performed Five Pieces for Piano in 1996, and Leon Fleisher performed Music for Left Hand in 2004.

In his 2008 memoir, Hallelujah Junction, composer John Adams, a student of Kirchner, had the following to say about the composer:

"Kirchner was one of the most intuitive musicians I ever encountered. Although highly sophisticated, immensely well-read, and a close friend and verbal sparring partner of Harvard's intellectual heavyweights, he approached music more like a jazz musician than a note parsing analyst."

New Music Box obituary

New York Times obituary

G. Schirmer biography

Boston Globe obituary

<August 2020>


Beethoven: Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor"
Mendelssohn: Concerto for Piano no 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Barber: Concerto for Piano, Op. 38
Brahms: Variations (11) for Piano on an Original Theme, Op. 21 no 1
Schumann: Papillons, Op. 2
Schoenberg: Little Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 19
Kirchner: Pieces (5)
Bartók: Out of Doors, Sz 81/BB 89
Bartók: Romanian Folkdances (6), Sz 56/BB 68
Bartók: Sonata for Piano, Sz 80/BB 88
Bartók: Rondos (3) on Slovak folktunes for Piano, Sz 84/BB 92
Bartók: Allegro barbaro for Piano, Sz 49/BB 63
Bartók: Mikrokosmos, Sz 107/BB 105: Book 6
Bartók: Dance Suite for Piano, Sz 77/BB 86
Ravel: Concerto for Piano in G major
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight"
Dvorak: Trio for Piano and Strings no 3 in F minor, Op. 65/B 130
Rachmaninov: Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18

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