by Sungyun Kim
what's the difference between all the legendary pianists like Richter, Horowitz, Pollini and like normal pianists who are decent(?) artists, but can't reach top level
I think that a lot of it is time and place. The world is so different now that when Horowitz or Rubinstein were up and coming pianists.
During that time, there was much more public interest in classical pianists, as there were not so many other avenues of entertainment.
People went to concerts rather than watch movies on their big screen TV's or play games on their computers.
This, of course, is just my perception. Perhaps our readers will have others.