In his autobiography, My Nine Lives, Leon Fleisher remembers that Istomin, when he made his debut, was considered as the future superstar of the piano: « He went to Curtis at the same time as people like Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, but it was Eugene who everyone thought was the most incredible talent they’d ever heard. Bernstein once said that if he imagined himself playing the piano as well as he could possibly play it, it would sound like Eugene.”

From the early 70s, a question came up repeatedly from his interviewers, as a leitmotiv: « Why is it that, with your outstanding talent and your career path, you are not more appreciated and acknowledged as one of the greatest pianists of our time?” His answers were interesting in many respects, musically and philosophically. You can find it in the last page of this chapter, which try a review of his career. Before, here are the five great periods of Istomin’s career, punctuated by more than four thousand concerts.

1943-1950 Spectacular debut
1943-1950 Spectacular debut
1950-1959 Irresistible rise
1950-1959 Irresistible rise
The 1960’s A turbulent time
The 1960’s A turbulent time
1971-1987 The cost of uncompromising
1971-1987 The cost of uncompromising
1988-2000 Hopes and resignation
1988-2000 Hopes and resignation
Conclusion
Conclusion