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Murray Perahia, who was born in 1947 in New York into a Sephardic family, began playing the piano when he was four. He was admitted at the age of 17 to Mannes College in New York, where he continued his piano studies while majoring in conducting and composition; he also took lessons from Mieczysław Horszowski. Perahia was significantly influenced by his work at the Marlboro Summer Festival, where he worked with Rudolf Serkin, Pablo Casals, and members of the Budapest String Quartet. In 1972, after making his debut with the New York Philharmonic, he won the Leeds Piano Competition and launched an international career that led to performances with leading conductors and orchestras around the world. Perahia maintained close artistic ties with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears; from 1981 to 1989, he was co-artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival, which Britten had founded. His friendship with Vladimir Horowitz was also formative. Perahia is additionally active as a conductor and has led the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Camerata Salzburg, and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, which appointed him Principal Guest Conductor in 2000. His recordings have garnered three Grammy Awards and nine Gramophone Awards; he received the honorary award of the German Record Critics’ Prize panel in 2011 and the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize in 2013. His most recent recording is of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier and Moonlight Sonatas, which was released in 2018. Murray Perahia, who holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Leeds and Duke University in Durham (North Carolina) and is an honorary member of the Royal College and the Royal Academy of Music, is preparing the new critical edition of the complete Beethoven sonatas. Queen Elizabeth II appointed him an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire in 2004.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 10 September 1983 playing Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Bernard Haitink.