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.