Performance Wednesday, April 1, 2015 | 8 PM

Murray Perahia

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
In the more than 40 years he has been performing, pianist Murray Perahia has left audiences around the world breathless. “You've never heard a pianist who considers each note with such deep care. No phrase is left unconsidered; every line of the score has been probed to make it as musical as possible,” proclaimed The Seattle Times.


  • Murray Perahia, Piano


  • BACH French Suite No. 6 in E Major, BWV 817
  • HAYDN Sonata in A-flat Major, Hob. XVI: 46
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, "Les Adieux"
  • FRANCK Prelude, Chorale and Fugue, Op. 21
  • CHOPIN Scherzo No. 1

  • Encores:
  • CHOPIN Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15, No. 1
  • SCHUMANN "Traumes Wirren" from Fantasiestücke, Op. 12


  • Murray Perahia

    In his more than 40 years on the concert stage, American pianist Murray Perahia has performed in all the major international music centers and with every leading orchestra. He is the principal guest conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with which he has toured as a conductor and pianist throughout the US, Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. In addition to his own tour of Europe and the Middle East during the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Perahia embarks on a 10-city tour of Asia with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, conducting and performing works by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Stravinsky. His recital tour of the United States this spring includes performances at Los Angeles's Walt Disney Concert Hall and Chicago's Symphony Center, with further appearances scheduled in California, Arizona, Michigan, Florida, and Georgia. Last season, Mr. Perahia held a residency with the Berliner Philharmoniker and gave a much-awaited recital debut in Australia.

    Born in New York, Mr. Perahia started playing piano at age four and later attended Mannes College The New School for Music, where he majored in conducting and composition. His summers were spent at the Marlboro Festival, collaborating with such musicians as Rudolf Serkin, Pablo Casals, and the members of the Budapest String Quartet. At that time, he also studied with Mieczysław Horszowski and subsequently developed a close friendship with Vladimir Horowitz, who was an abiding inspiration. Mr. Perahia won the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1972; in 1973, he gave his first concert at the Aldeburgh Festival, where he worked closely with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, accompanying the latter in many lieder recitals. From 1981 to 1989, he was co-artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival.

    Mr. Perahia has a wide and varied discography. Sony Classical has issued The First 40 Years, a special boxed set of all his recordings, including several DVDs. His recording of Brahms's "Handel" Variations won a Gramophone Award in 2011; other awards include two Grammys and, in 2012, Gramophone's first-ever Piano Award. Mr. Perahia recently embarked on an ambitious project to edit the complete Beethoven sonatas for the Henle Urtext Edition. He also produced and edited numerous hours of recordings of recently discovered master classes by legendary pianist Alfred Cortot, resulting in the acclaimed Sony CD release Alfred Cortot: The Master Classes. Mr. Perahia is an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, and he holds honorary doctorates from Oxford University, the Royal College of Music, the University of Leeds, and Duke University. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary KBE by Her Majesty The Queen in recognition of his outstanding service to music.

    More Info


Brahms's Ballade in G Minor, Op. 118, No. 3
Murray Perahia, Piano
Sony Music Entertainment

At a Glance

This evening’s program begins with Johann Sebastian Bach’s French Suite No. 6 in E Major, which is perhaps the most brilliantly entertaining and tuneful of all the French Suites. César Franck, who made a reputation for himself as one of France’s greatest organists, was endlessly fascinated by Bach’s music. It is not surprising that this naturalized Frenchman, who much preferred the Germanic musical tradition, should adopt three of Bach’s favorite forms and use them to create his Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue, Op. 21, which is arguably one of the finest late-Romantic keyboard masterpieces. Franck was also strongly influenced by Ludwig van Beethoven, as was Frédéric Chopin, who transformed Beethoven’s development of the scherzo as a replacement movement for the minuet into his four independent scherzos for piano, of which we hear the first on tonight’s program. Beethoven was a student of Joseph Haydn, and Haydn’s formal and emotional intensification of the piano sonata, on display in his Sonata in A-flat Major, paved the way for Beethoven’s programmatic “Les adieux” Sonata.
Program Notes
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos I, and Midweek Piano Trio.