Shot to popularity after being successful the 1989 8th Vehicle Cliburn International Piano Competition when he was just 19. He began piano lessons at age six beneath the tutelage of Tamara Popovich. He was adored by viewers, but controversial among his peers, with one critic stating there is no middle floor in views of his function. His left part was paralyzed after a 2001 heart stroke. He continued using his right hands, while his wife Dace Abele followed him with her remaining hand. He made an appearance on NIGHT TIME with David Letterman in the past due eighties.