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was trained as a classical pianist but gained fame for his unique blend of superb piano playing and comedy. His trademarks included repeatedly being "distracted" while trying to play a serious piece, making comments to and about the audience, and playing sheet music "backwards, sideways, etc."
gained fame by playing popular tunes on the piano with a semi-classical style, as well as for his flamboyant costumes and custom-made pianos.
|Wilbur Dorsey "Buck"
was a trumpet player who led one of the first jazz bands to play in the Orient, and who played with bands led by Count Basie, Jimmy Rushing, and others.
began his professional music career while still in high school. In 1973, he and five other musicians formed the group Kansas, which hit double-platinum success in 1976.
Lavan "Van" Cliburn
began playing the piano at age three. He achieved international recognition when he won the inaugural Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, for which achievement he became the only musician to ever be honored by a New York City ticker-tape parade.
|Ignacy Jan Paderewski
was a very popular concert pianist who used his fame (and subsequent wealth) to advocate for an independent Poland, of which he served as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
picked up drumsticks when he was still in grade school. In 1969 he had the opportunity to play with Joe Cocker, Iron Butterfly, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Santana, and many other rock greats of the day. In 1973, he and Kerry Livgren formed the rock band Kansas.
was an alto saxophonist who played with many of the top jazz bands of the 1930's and 40s, as well as with small ensembles, string groups, and even Afro-Cuban bands.
began learning the violin at the age of four, and wrote his first publicly performed opus at seventeen. In addition to composing and playing, he also did much to further Romanian music in general, forming a Philharmonic Orchestra and a Composers' Society in Iasi and helping to establish the Romanian State Opera in Bucharest.
began playing the violin at an early age, despite being stricken with polio at age four. He was introduced to the general public at age 13, and has been delighting music lovers ever since. Over the course of his career he has performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world, and has also appeared on many popular television programs.
|Emil Grigoryevich Gilels
began studying piano at the age of six, made his debut as a child prodigy at thirteen, and got his first international recognition at 22.
sought to have the guitar played on every major stage just as the piano and violin were, and to have music written specifically for the instrument; he succeeded.
was one of the few "traditional" jazz musicians to make the transition to bebop, and led the first ever bebop recording session in 1944.
began studying classical violin at age 8, and played with several European orchestras when he was 15. He joined a Lawrence bar band in 1971, and that band subsequently became known as Kansas.