Much like the celebrities and reality stars of our era, famous musicians, have historically been, a little bit strange.  Grand gestures, bad decisions, and pianists are no exception!  Read on and learn some strange facts about these famous pianists!

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven’s deafness was the result of lead poisoning, and so too, was his death in 1872. While the cause of his elevated lead levels is unclear, some speculate that because of his love of wine, which contained higher-than-normal lead levels during that time period, and due to the goblets he drank from that contained lead, his overexposure caused him years of suffering and misery, and eventually death. Sad!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Some historical experts believe Mozart may have suffered from ADHD or Tourette’s, due to accounts of him growing bored easily and leaping over furniture during rehearsals, meowing and mimicking a cat. He also thoroughly enjoyed toilet humor and foul language.

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto n.3 is considered by many to be one of the most complex pieces in the classical range, and most pianists are afraid to attempt it! This could be due to the fact that his hands were so large, it was said they could span 12 keys…

Franz Schubert

Schubert was given the nickname “schwammerl” which means “little mushroom”. Standing at only five feet, one inch, he was quite the diminutive gentleman pianist!

Glenn Gould

Ever the hypochondriac, Gould was known for wearing gloves and an overcoat at all times during his performances, regardless of the weather or temperature.

Claudio Arrau

Known as a child prodigy, Arrau was able to read and understand music long before he was able to read and write words. Amazing!

Vladimir Horowitz

In order to avoid military service, Horowitz’s father fraudulently altered his son’s age on his military service form. Scandalous!