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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Murray Perahia

Friday, May 19, 2017 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Murray Perahia’s place in the pantheon of great pianists is indisputable. A master of a vast range of repertoire, he can reveal the complex inner voices of a Baroque fugue with stunning clarity, pour out a sustained legato line in a Romantic nocturne, or summon thunder in a Beethoven sonata. In addition to his total technical mastery of the instrument, he is a “musician of big ideas” and “relishes the opportunity to air them in a large public forum” (The New York Times).


Murray Perahia, Piano


BACH French Suite No. 6 in E Major, BWV 817
SCHUBERT Four Impromptus, D. 935
MOZART Rondo in A Minor, K. 511
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  French Suite No. 6 in E Major, BWV 817

Composed around the time Bach took up his final posting in Leipzig in the early 1720s, the six French suites catered to the public’s demand for music in the fashionably melodious galant style. The eight movements of the E-Major Suite are based on courtly dances and run the gamut of expression from playfulness to pathos.

FRANZ SCHUBERT  Four Impromptus, D. 935

As their name implies, Schubert’s impromptus share a spontaneous, improvisatory quality.Yet so deliberately did he lay the D. 935 set out that it has often been likened to a four-movement sonata. The lyrical theme-and-variations Impromptu No. 3 evokes the intimate, singing tone that contemporaries admired in the composer’s piano playing.


In the last decade of his life, Mozart wrote a wide variety of keyboard music, ranging from concertos and sonatas to short, standalone pieces. The Rondo in A Minor illustrates his determination to breathe new life into forms and genres associated with his 18th-century predecessors, even as he expanded the range of piano technique and expression.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

In the radiant ending to his final piano sonata, Beethoven gives free rein to his poetic imagination. The music teacher in Thomas Mann’s novel Doctor Faustus describes the closing passage as “the most moving, consolatory,pathetically reconciling thing in the world. It is like having one’s hair or cheekstroked, lovingly, understandingly, like a deep and silent farewell look.”


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.

Born in New York, Mr. Perahia started playing the piano at age four and later attended Mannes College of Music, where he majored in conducting and composition. His summers were spent at the Marlboro Music 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. In October 2016, he released a recording of Bach's French suites, his first album on Deutsche Grammophon. Sony Classical issued The First 40 Years, a special boxed set of all his recordings, including several DVDs. Mr. Perahia's recordings also include a boxed set of Chopin works; Bach's partitas nos. 1, 5, and 6; and Beethoven's piano sonatas opp. 14, 26, and 28. He is the recipient of two Grammy Awards for his recordings of Chopin's complete etudes and Bach's English suites nos. 1, 3, and 6, as well as several Gramophone Awards, including the first-ever Piano Award in 2012.

Mr. Perahia is an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, and he holds honorary doctorates from the University of Oxford, Royal College of Music, University of Leeds, and Duke University. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his outstanding service to music.

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