One of the most acclaimed pianists of the 20th century. He performed to world leaders and sold-out halls in both Europe and the U.S.
He was acknowledged as a child prodigy and was already playing with major symphony orchestras at age 12. By his late teens, he had a regular concert series in Berlin.
He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1933 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom 30 years later. He celebrated his 100th appearance with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1972.
He was born to a Jewish Russian family in Eger, Bohemia (later Cheb, Czech Republic), moving to Vienna, the seat of classical music, at age nine.
He played with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini starting in 1936.