Self-taught musician who wrote the 1958 pedagogic book The Art of Piano Playing, which influenced generations of pianists.
His concert career was hindered by temporary paralysis, leading to his many pedagogical contributions.
He was imprisoned in 1941 as a German spy, but was released eight months later when Dmitri Shostakovich and Emil Gilels exerted their influence on Moscow.
His uncle was composer Felix Blumenfeld and his second cousin was pianist Karol Szymanowski, both of whom influenced his musicality in profound ways.
He and Doctor Zhivago author Boris Pasternak were lifelong friends.