Murray Perahia KBE

Biography

In a career spanning 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. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and regularly tours with them as both conductor and pianist, with performances throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and South East Asia.

Highlights of the 11-12 season included a recital tour of Asia and a European tour with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.  He was also artist-in-residence at the Philharmonie Berlin, taking part in a variety of projects throughout the season.  The current season opened with US recital tour and a major European tour with the Academy of St. Martin in the Field’s.

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 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.

Murray Perahia has a wide and varied discography. His most recent release; Brahms’ Handel Variations, has been described as "one of the most rewarding Brahms recitals currently available."

He is the recipient of two Grammys; for his recording of Frederic Chopin's complete Etudes, Op. 10 and Op. 25 and of 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 have issued a special boxed set edition of all of Mr Perahia’s CD recordings from the past 40 years, along with several DVD performances.

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 Leeds University, Duke University and an honorary Doctor of Philosophy from the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2004 he was awarded an honorary KBE  in recognition of his outstanding service to music.

 

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Gramophone Awards 2012

Many congratulations to Murray Perahia, who is named the inaugural winner of the Piano Award in the 2012 Gramophone Awards.

It is 40 years since Perahia came to recognition as winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition, a period during which in addition to an extraordinary career as a concert artist, he has produced an enormous wealth of recorded material for CBS / Sony Classical (an astonishing 73 recordings!). In celebration of one of today's most respected pianists, Sony have issued a special boxed set edition of all of Perahia's CD recordings from the past 40 years, along with several DVD performances.

Gramophone magazine has also dug deep into the archives and have re-produced all of their reviews of these recordings along with a selection of interviews with Perahia in a special online magazine.

Click here to listen to Perahia discussing his recording work in his acceptance speech.

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