Born 7 October in the Ukrainian city of Odessa in 1909 (not 1911 as given in New Grove and other reference sources), Shura Cherkassky was a child prodigy at 12, playing before Herbert Hoover in the White House. His career spanning most of the twentieth century was quixotic; many would say exceptional amongst master pianists. His repertoire was vast and many would say his playing of the Romantics stood out in a unique way. Overall, his manner and his pianism produced a compelling force amongst 20th century pianists. He died in London on 27 December 1995.