Solomon Cutner was born in the East End of London in 1902. He was a child prodigy whose talent was recognised at the age of seven when, having had no formal tuition, he performed his own arrangement of the 1812 Overture on the family piano. He gave his first concerts in 1912 at the age of ten, retired from public performance in his teens and then resumed his career as an adult performer. He began making records in 1929. As a child he was sent to live with his teacher, Mathilde Verne, who had studied with Clara Schumann. It is documented that Verne abused and exploited her young charge. Solomon brought to his playing an effortless virtuosity, great respect for the printed score, and deep spirituality.
He toured abroad a good deal, particularly during and shortly after World War II, when he gave numerous much-cherished recitals in the United States and Australia. He premiered the Piano Concerto by Arthur Bliss at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Known especially for his Beethoven, which has an almost legendary status (he broadcast the entire cycle of the 32 piano sonatas), he was in the midst of completing the complete cycle of the sonatas for EMI Records when he suffered a devastating stroke in 1956, which paralyzed his right arm. He never recorded or performed in public again, but lived another 32 years. His recordings of Mozart, Schumann, and Brahms are also highly regarded.
He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1946.
He died in 1988, aged 85.