When Michael Rabin was one, he could beat
perfect time. At three, his parents noted he had perfect pitch. When he was
five, Michael picked up a miniature violin - tuned it - played it - and refused
to return it. His career was meteoric, and like a shooting star, almost as
quickly - over. The young virtuoso's concert performances and recordings were
hailed as the work of a genius. But his personal life was falling apart and he
was emotionally unstable. His recording career, which began when he was twelve,
was ended ten years later when Rabin abruptly decided he would no longer record.
In the 1960s he was abusing drugs and his behavior was becoming increasingly
erratic. In 1972, while under the influence of barbiturates, Rabin slipped on a
polished floor, struck his head on a chair and died. He was 35.