Lorin Hollander transformed from a hugely talented teenage pianist in the 1950s to a major keyboard virtuoso in the decades following. He would also take up conducting and become a popular public speaker on a range of topics, from the musical and motivational, to the philosophical and spiritual. Hollander began as a child prodigy playing Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier at age five from memory. He would go on to make numerous television appearances, perform with many of the world's leading orchestras and conductors (Bernstein, Szell, Ormandy, Leinsdorf, Previn, Haitink, Ozawa, Mehta, et. al.) and appear on several critically acclaimed recordings. As a pianist his repertory was broad, taking in works by Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Copland, and many others. As a conductor, he has largely led chamber and choral ensembles in fare ranging from Bach to the 20th century. Hollander has recorded for RCA and EMI.
Lorin Hollander was born in New York City on July 19, 1944. His father, Max Hollander, was concertmaster of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Toscanini. From age one Lorin showed interest in music, operating the family record player to play Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky.
Hollander began playing the piano at three, and at 11 he debuted at Carnegie Hall. From age 14 he gave 40 concerts yearly at major venues. A student of Edward Steuermann from age eight, Hollander would go on to study at Juilliard with Olga Stroumillo and Leon Fleisher, among others.
In 1959 Hollander appeared on the nationally televised show The Bell Telephone Hour performing the finale of Saint-Saëns' Fifth Concerto. The following year the 16-year-old Hollander appeared on the hugely popular Ed Sullivan Show. At 17 his career was temporarily put on hold, owing to epilepsy, a condition that would periodically hamper his ability to perform.
Hollander made a return appearance on the Bell Telephone Hour in 1964 and the following year RCA released his first recording, the Khachaturian Piano Concerto, with André Previn conducting. Hollander continued to appear regularly on television: in the fall of 1969 he made appearances on shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, and the Dick Cavett Show. That same year saw the release of his popular recording, Lorin Hollander at the Fillmore East, which documented his live New York concert featuring works by Prokofiev, J.S. Bach, and Debussy played on an electronic concert grand.
In the 1970s Hollander maintained a busy schedule of concerts, though his keyboard career cooled somewhat. He played J.S. Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring for the popular 1982 film Sophie's Choice and was an advisor for the 1984 Winter Olympics. He was also turning more often to conducting and public speaking than and in 1990s as keyboard concerts became fewer.
In the new century Hollander has often spoken at colleges and universities and has developed many ties to education: among many other activities, he serves as artistic advisor to the New England Conservatory Research Center. He is also still active as a pianist and conductor.