BROWNING, JOHN (1933–2003), American pianist. Born in Denver to a musical family, he made his concert debut at the age of ten, performing a Mozart concerto. He studied in Los Angeles with Lee Pattison (a Schnabel pupil) and in New York with Rosina *Lhevinne at the Juilliard School of Music. In 1954 Browning won the Hollywood Bowl Young Artist Competition and the Steinway Centennial Award, and in 1955 the Edgar M. Leventritt Award. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1956, and won second prize (after Vladimir *Ashkenazy) at the Queen Elizabeth International Competition in Brussels. Browning was exceptional in his interpretive skills and blessed with one of the easiest, most brilliant techniques of any pianist of his time. The range of music he played was distinguished: chamber music; the first performance of the Samuel Barber Piano Concerto in September 1962, a modern and difficult work that became his signature piece; concertos by Prokofiev and works by Debussy and Ravel as well as the standard repertory. He made many world tours, including trips to the Soviet Union, performing with leading orchestras. Awarded honorary doctorates in music, he became a professor at the Juilliard School of Music in 1986). Among his many recordings are the complete piano concertos of Prokofiev with Leinsdorf and three recital-length disks of Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and Musorgsky. His recording of the complete Barber repertoire for solo piano earned him a second Grammy Award.
Grove onlines.v.; mgg2; Baker's Biographical Dictionary (1997).
[Max Loppert /
Naama Ramot (2nd ed.)]