From the very beginning of his professional career as a soloist John Ogdon was hailed as a musician of rare understanding and phenomenal technical gifts. Able to play and memorize just about any score at sight, tales of his impossible exploits at the keyboard are legion. Yet Ogdon was a man of extremes and it was this very extremity, while the source of much of his gift, that also led to appalling suffering. Here was a man whose feelings were inexpressibly deep and often tormenting, and Ogdon's glory days, following his coveted Tchaikovsky prize in 1962, came to a sudden end in 1973 when he suffered a severe mental breakdown which led to his being certified insane and made a ward of court. Over the course of several harrowing years Ogdon would make four suicide attempts, and spend large periods of time in and out of psychiatric wards. The drugs and treatments prescribed sometimes affected his coordination, and his reputation suffered as a result.