Lost Genius

Lost Genius

The Curious and Tragic Story of an Extraordinary Musical Prodigy

Kevin Bazzana


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Born in 1903, pianist Ervin Nyiregyházi was the subject of the first book devoted to the scientific study of a single prodigy. By twenty-five he had all but disappeared. Mismanaged, exploited, and unfashionably romantic, his career floundered in adulthood. He drank heavily, married ten times, and was reduced to penury, sometimes living on the subway. He settled in Los Angeles where he performed sporadically, counting many of Holly-wood's elite among his friends, including Gloria Swanson, a likely lover. Rediscovered in the 1970s, he enjoyed a sensational and controversial renaissance, before slipping back into obscurity.