9 Songs, 58 Minutes


About Michel Block

Even if he had tried to plan one himself, pianist Michel Block couldn't have given his career a better or more dramatic start than the one he received in 1960. As an entrant in that year's Frederic Chopin International Competition, he failed to capture the top prize. What he did capture, however, was the attention and allegiance of one of the jurors, Artur Rubinstein. The acclaimed Polish-American pianist created the Rubinstein Prize then and there for Block, a dramatic gesture that said plainly and loudly that he believed Block should have been the winner.

Block went on to win the Leventritt Award in 1962. He has performed with a number of top orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His recordings have been released by ProPiano, Pathé Marconi, EMI, and Deutsche Grammophon. He has recorded music by Albéniz, Rachmaninov, Schumann, Chopin, Granados, and Scriabin.

The pianist was born in Belgium and moved to Mexico with his family. He took up the piano during his years in Mexico and studied at the Juilliard School in New York. Block spent 20 years as an instructor at Indiana University, beginning in 1978. His public performances have become rare events.