Liberace: Biography Of A Larger-Than-Life Man, With Lots Of Secrets

By | February 3, 2020

test article image
Portrait of flamboyant pianist Liberace. (Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)

Flamboyant pianist Liberace had a story like no one else. As the highest-paid entertainer in the world at one point in time Liberace definitely lived it up. He had the most garish clothes, the biggest houses, and he lived one hell of a life.

Władziu Valentino Liberace, the pianist who made the whole world love classical music, and cried all the way to the bank, may have seemed like an alien from outer space, but he actually came from Wisconsin, of all places. This flashy and fabulous gentleman sashayed through the ’50s ‘60s and ‘70s, and even if you never saw him live you saw him charm the pants off the audience on television.

Liberace Wasn’t A Concert Pianist, He Was A Showman

test article image
source: pinterest

As a child prodigy born in Wisconsin, Liberace’s skill was fostered by his father, a musician himself, who wanted to make sure that his son was as good as he could be. He took lessons as a child and learned the classics, but rather that dutifully play them like every other concert pianist he decided to make the songs his own. In some cases he simplified the music, and when he felt that a song was too simple, he added his own touches. Audiences loved his performances but critics weren’t as kind.

After seeing Liberace at Carnegie Hall, critic Lewis Funke wrote that Liberace's music "must be served with all the available tricks, as loud as possible, as soft as possible, and as sentimental as possible. It's almost all showmanship topped by whipped cream and cherries." Another critic wrote “Liberace recreates—if that is the word—each composition in his own image. When it is too difficult, he simplifies it. When it is too simple, he complicates it.”