Shura Cherkassky was born in Odessa, Russia in 1909 (not 1911, as many references state). He studied first with his mother and then with Josef Hofmann. He toured the U.S. starting at the age of 12, when he performed before President Hoover. Cherkassky travelled widely and was a particular favorite of the audiences in Europe and the Far East. he began making recordings while still a prodigy and continued his studio activity until shortly before his death. Cherkassky's extensive repertoire embraced all major composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. He was praised for the unusual color and spontaneity of his interpretations. He died in 1995.