Sunday, January 24, 2010

Earl Wild (1915-2010)

Earl Wild, the pianist from Pittsburgh who embodied both the limitless technique and onstage flair of the 19th-century virtuoso, has died at the age of 94.

In a career that began with performances in the late 1920s on the then-new medium of radio and continued until a final concert in 2008, Wild mastered virtually all of the piano repertory. He was most widely celebrated for his performances of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and other finger-busters of the late-romantic period; he also was one of the most fluent interpreters of Gershwin. He made some 800 recordings.

Allan Kozinn's obituary of Wild in The New York Times: