Biography of Block Michael:
Pianist Michel Block was born of French parents in Antwerp, Belgium. As a child, he moved with his parents to Mexico, where his grandfather had settled in 1870. Mr. Block studied piano in that country and later at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. In One of the most famous of all competition incidents, Michel Block won the Arthur Rubinstein Prize in Warsaw at the 1960 Fréderic Chopin International Competition. Mr. Rubinstein, having been displeased with the jury's verdicts, invented the prize on the spot and personally made the award to Mr. Block. Two years later, Michel Block won the Leventritt Award in New York, adding his name to the illustrious list of winners, among which Alexis Weissenberg, Van Cliburn, Eugene Istomin, etc. Like most pianists of renown, Mr. Block has appeared with the great orchestras and conductors in the United States and in Europe, and has made many recordings, many of which are now out of print. In 1978 he joined the music faculty at Indiana University at Bloomington, and ceased pursuing the pianistic career he had embarked upon as a young man. In 1997 he retired from that institution and now lives a quiet, uneventful and happy life.