The University of Leeds Centenary 1904 - 2004
Programme summary
About Murray Perahia KBE
Press release
Centenary concert

About Murray Perahia KBE

In the thirty years he has been performing on the concert stage, 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 every leading orchestra of the world. He is currently the Guest Principal Conductor of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with whom this season’s engagements have included concerts in Edinburgh, London and Leeds in the UK, as well as a tour of Switzerland and Italy. He recently returned from a series of recitals throughout the United States. Future engagements include a short tour of Bergen, Dresden and Prague, again with the Academy, and a series of European recitals including performances in London and Paris.

Mr Perahia has received unreserved praise as a recording artist, not least for his complete Mozart and Beethoven concerto cycles, and for his discs of Bach keyboard concertos. His recent release on Sony Classical features Schubert’s late piano sonatas in C minor (D958), A major (D959) and B flat major (D960).

Murray Perahia was born in New York. He started playing the piano at the age of four and later attended Mannes College where he majored in conducting and composition. His summers were spent in Marlboro, where he collaborated with musicians such as Rudolph Serkin, Pablo Casals and the members of the Budapest Quartet. He also studied at that time with Mieczyslaw Horszowski.

In 1972 Murray Perahia won the Leeds International Piano Competition. Engagements throughout Europe soon followed. In 1973 he gave his first concert at the Aldeburgh Festival where he met and worked closely with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, accompanying the latter in many Lieder recitals. He became co-artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1981 to 1989. In subsequent years, he developed a close friendship with Vladimir Horowitz whose perspective and personality were an abiding inspiration.

In 1998, he was presented with the 1997 Instrumentalist award by the Royal Philharmonic Society. In 1999, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Leeds. Murray Perahia is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. In recognition of his outstanding service to music, Murray Perahia was awarded an honorary KBE in 2004.

Murray Parahia KBE
Murray Parahia KBE

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University of Leeds Centenary 1904 - 2004 Centenary logo Jack Charlton Tony Harrison Sir Ian McKellen Sir Kenneth Morrison Baroness Usha Prashar Professor Dame Julia Higgins Jack Charlton Tony Harrison Sir Ian McKellen Sir Kenneth Morrison Ngugi wa Thiong’o Professor Dame Julia Higgins Professor David Rhodes