Leonard Pennario, 83, Classical Pianist, Dies
By James Barron
Leonard Pennario, a popular classical pianist known for his enthusiastic public performances and recordings of the more melodic modern composers, died on Friday in La Jolla, Calif. He was 83.
The cause was complications of Parkinson's disease, said Mary Kunz Goldman, who is writing his biography.
Mr. Pennario, who also became a life master in tournament bridge, was listed in both the New Grove's Dictionary of Music and The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge. As a pianist, he made many recordings in the days of long-playing records, notably of works by Gershwin and Rachmaninoff, and appeared with well-known orchestras and conductors. Beginning in the 1960s, he also played in trios with the violinist Jascha Heifetz and the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky.
Mr. Pennario made more than 60 recordings in all, of music by composers as diverse as Bela Bartok and Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Ms. Goldman said he was the first pianist after Rachmaninoff himself to record all four Rachmaninoff concertos and the "Variations on a Theme of Paganini."
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