Murray Perahia

Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Biography

The American pianist’s readings of great repertoire landmarks by everyone from Bach and Beethoven to Chopin and Liszt offer timeless lessons in sensibility, sophistication and expressive intensity. While his approach invariably draws attention to the music not the musician, he stands in the tradition of the great keyboard virtuosi as an artist armed with consummate technical skills, boundless imagination and near-mystical eloquence. Perahia’s pianism, recognised as exceptional since his student days, has matured over more than four decades to deliver unique insights into music’s spiritual qualities, its power to communicate where words end.

“I love to play the piano,” he says. “I love the instrument. I think it has a series of secrets that we have to find out from it.” Perahia’s lifelong pursuit of the piano’s mysteries has been richly documented on record. The pianist’s extensive discography continues to grow thanks to an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, announced in September 2016 and marked a month later by the release of J.S. Bach’s French Suites. His first recording of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” and “Moonlight” sonatas is set for release on the yellow label in February 2018.

The 2018-19 season includes extensive recital tours of Europe, Asia and North America as well as a tour of Europe with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In Asia, Mr. Perahia appears in recital in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo and Mito. He then returns to tour North America with recitals in Charlottesville, Berkeley, Costa Mesa, Ann Arbor, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

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Reviews

Murray Perahia’s delicate touch paired beautifully with the Academy of St Martin in the Field’s aerated tone, bringing wit and poise to an all-Beethoven chamber programme … This was a true collaboration – and music-making of the highest order.

Flora Willson

The Guardian

“Perahia’s extraordinary pianism is a sacrament of purification and a kind of return to an age of pianistic innocence.”

Los Angeles Times

“The qualities that make Perahia one of today’s leading artists of the keyboard lie in his ability to shine a penetrating and personal light on such music, in such a way that there is nothing at all “standard” about it. In other words, the commanding insights he brings to this repertory are more than enough to breathe freshness and distinction into works we’ve heard many times before, but seldom played at this inspired level.”

Chicago Tribune

More Reviews

“Perahia’s extraordinary pianism is a sacrament of purification and a kind of return to an age of pianistic innocence.”

Los Angeles Times

“The qualities that make Perahia one of today’s leading artists of the keyboard lie in his ability to shine a penetrating and personal light on such music, in such a way that there is nothing at all “standard” about it. In other words, the commanding insights he brings to this repertory are more than enough to breathe freshness and distinction into works we’ve heard many times before, but seldom played at this inspired level. ”

Chicago Tribune

“Murray Perahia displayed a breathtaking drive and imagination playing the music of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann and Chopin.”

Los Angeles Times

“Perahia, poet of the keyboard, comes back with thunder.”

Allan Kozinn, New York Times, March 27, 2007

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