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Perahia, Murray


PERAHIA, MURRAY (1947– ), U.S. pianist and conductor. Born in New York City into a Sephardi family, Perahia began studying piano in 1952 with Jeanette Haien. In 1966, he entered Mannes College, New York, where he studied composition and conducting. He continued his piano studies with Balsam, and later with Horszowski. He had collaborated in chamber music with such outstanding musicians as Casals and members of the Budapest Quartet before his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (1972). Later that year he gained international fame as prizewinner at the Leeds International Piano Competition. His memorable London debut in a recital revealed him to be a pianist of rare sensitivity and intelligence. Perahia appeared as soloist with the leading orchestras and conductors. From 1981 until 1989, he was artistic co-director of the Aldeburgh Festival, where he previously collaborated with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. In 1992 a hand injury compelled him to withdraw from public performances. In 1994 he returned to the stage as a soloist. At the core of his repertoire are works by Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, and Bach. He reestablished the Haendel suites and many of the Scarlatti sonatas as a rewarding repertory for pianists. Perahia has won numerous music awards – among them the Avery Fisher Prize (1975). He is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.

add. bibliography:

Grove online; Baker's Biographical Dictionary (1997).

[Max Loppert /

Naama Ramot (2nd ed.)]

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