Murray Perahia KBE


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. 

The 15-16 season includes a tour of Japan with the London Symphony Orchestra and Bernard Haitink, European and US recital tours and play - direct performances of Beethoven’s piano concerti with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. 

Highlights of previous seasons have included a residency at the Berlin Philharmonie, his much anticipated debut visit to Australia ( Melbourne Recital Centre and Sydney Opera House) and concerto engagements with the  Boston Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. 

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 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.

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 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.

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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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