The passion that led Bruno Leonardo Gelber to be one of today's most renowned pianists is bringing him to the Kennedy Center this week, where he will perform Ravel's Piano Concerto in G with the National Symphony Orchestra. Under the direction of Raymond Leppard, the NSO will also perform Britten's "Sinfonia da Requiem," Haydn's Symphony No. 104 and Ravel's "La Valse."

At age 7, four years into his piano studies, Gelber was struck with polio. "I asked my parents to push my bed under the piano, and I was practicing like that for one year," he says.

Because both parents were professional musicians, he says, he believes his passion for music began even before he was born. "I received inside my mother the impression and vibration of music," says Gelber. "I never tire of it."

Gelber's repertoire focuses on romantic composers such as Schumann, Chopin and Ravel. He is particularly fond of the Ravel's Concerto in G because Ravel dedicated this piece to his longtime companion Marguerite Long, with whom Gelber studied for six years in Paris.

Performance times are 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Friday. For more information call 254-3776.