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Bergman was born in Brooklyn. He learned clarinet as a child, and did not commence his piano studies until adulthood. He developed his left hand playing to the point where he became essentially ambidextrous as a pianist, and can play equally fast in both hands. He recorded four albums as a soloist before embarking on several duo and trio albums in the 1990s and 2000s. He died, aged 78, in New York.