Michel Block (1937-2003) gained international attention and fame when, at the 1960 Chopin Competition, jury member Artur Rubinstein, was so outraged by the jury decision that he awarded Michel Block with the special Artur Rubinstein Award on the spot. Two years later Michel Block, a Juilliard laureate, won the prestigious Leventritt Award. He embarked on an international solo career, and played with esteemed orchestras like the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw, Chicago Symphony and London Symphony Orchestra, with conductors Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink and Georg Solti. After entering the Music faculty of Bloomington, he ceased his busy concert schedule. His rare public appearances after that were emorable events.
Block had a special affinity for Spanish music: he grew up in Mexico and his famous recording of Albeniz’ Iberia (EMI) counts amongst the best ever. This recital offers gems from the Spanish repertoire all played in Block’s leisurely, seductive, hypnotising style, where piano hammers don’t exist, only beautiful sound…
Recording: 1991, Bloomington Indiana University School of Music
“As played by Block, Granados's Spanish Dances, in particular, become among the most magical and seductive miniatures in the repertoire...Block's softly crooning rather than openly singing sound can make your head spin, so seductive are his colour and inflection, and you will search far and wide for more sheerly beautiful playing.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2012