In a career spanning more than forty years, Murray Perahia has become one of the most sought after and cherished pianists of our time.
Recognised worldwide as a musician of rare musical sensitivity, Mr Perahia performs in all of the major international music centres and with the world’s leading orchestras. Last season’s highlights included a tour of Japan with the London Symphony Orchestra and Bernard Haitink plus extensive recitals in the US and Europe. In the 16/17 season Mr Perahia will play a Beethoven concerto cycle with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, as well as complete several recital tours throughout Europe, Asia and the USA.
Born in New York, Murray Perahia started playing piano at the age of four, and later attended Mannes College where he studied conducting and composition. His summers were spent at the Marlboro Festival, collaborating with such musicians as Rudolf Serkin, Pablo Casals and the members of the Budapest String Quartet. He also studied during this period with Mieczyslaw Horszowski. In subsequent years, he developed a close friendship with Vladimir Horowitz, whose perspective and personality were an abiding inspiration.
In 1972 Murray Perahia won the Leeds International Piano Competition, which led to solo recital engagements throughout Europe. In 1973 he gave his first concert at the Aldeburgh Festival, where he worked closely with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, accompanying the latter in many lieder recitals. He was co-artistic director of the Festival from 1981 to 1989.
In 2000 Mr Perahia was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and has since developed a celebrated partnership with the orchestra, producing acclaimed recordings and spellbinding performances. He regularly tours with them as both conductor and pianist, with performances throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and South East Asia.
Murray Perahia has recorded an extensive discography. He is the recipient of two Grammys; for his recording of Frederic Chopin's complete Etudes, Op. 10 and Op. 25 and for Bach's English Suites Nos. 1, 3, and 6, in addition to numerous Grammy nominations. He has also won several Gramophone Awards and was the inaugural recipient of the Piano Award in 2012. In celebration of one of today's most respected pianists, Sony issued a special boxed set edition of all of Mr Perahia’s CD recordings from the past 40 years, along with several DVD performances.
In October 2016, he released a highly anticipated recording of Bach French Suites, his first album on the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Recently, Mr Perahia embarked on an ambitious project to edit the complete Beethoven Sonatas for the Henle Urtext Edition. He also produced and edited numerous hours of recordings of recently discovered master classes by the legendary pianist, Alfred Cortot, which resulted in the highly acclaimed Sony CD release, "Alfred Cortot: The Master Classes."
Mr Perahia is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, and he holds honorary doctorates from the Juilliard School, Oxford University, Royal College of Music, Leeds University, Duke University and an honorary Doctor of Philosophy from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was the recipient of the 2014 Kohn Foundation Bach Prize from the Royal Academy of Music. In 2004 he was awarded an honorary KBE in recognition of his outstanding service to music.