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Culture

Murray Perahia - Celebrated Pianist

Perahia is renowned for his interpretations of Bach's compositions. His style has been described as clean, his sound cool, transparent and sparkling.

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Murray Perahia was born in New York in 1947 and started piano lessons at the age of four. When he was seventeen he entered the Mannes College of Music, where he graduated in conducting and composition. Perahia continued studying the piano with teachers like Artur Balsam and Mieczyslaw Horszowski.

It was during this time that he met and worked with musicians like Rudolf Serkin and Pablo Casals. In fact it was a performance of Bach’s St. Mathew Passion conducted by Casals that turned out to be one of the most important experiences in young Perahia’s career.

One of the first highlights in Perahia's concert career as a pianist was his Carnegie Hall debut in 1968.

Perahia has won numerous music awards - among them the Avery Fisher Prize, which he received in 1975.

From 1981 until 1989, Perahia was co-artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival.

From the late 1990s he developed a special reputation for interpreting the musical works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

In 2000, his recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations won two Grammy nominations for Best Classical Album and Best Instrumental Soloist. Critics praised his "uncompromising technique and sophisticated artistry".

The New York Times wrote about his rendition of the Goldberg Variations: "...a landmark among recent Bach piano recordings, one of the best version of the 'Goldbergs' ever, immaculate, crystalline and flowing... Perahia's 'Goldbergs' are a spectacular achievement."

Murray Perahia was recently on tour in Germany with the renowned Chamber Orchestra of Europe, conducting the works of Mozart and Haydn and performing Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto.

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