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, Murray Perahia has performed 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, performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, play – direct performances of Beethoven’s piano concerti with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and European and US recital tours.
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 and 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. 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. 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. In 2004 he was awarded an honorary KBE in recognition of his outstanding service to music.