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Menahem Pressler

The pianist Menahem Pressler is firmly established among the world’s most distinguished musicians. With a career that spans over five decades, he continues to captivate audiences throughout the world as performer while maintaining a dedicated teaching career.

Born in Magdeburg, Pressler fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and emigrated to Israel. His career was launched after he won first prize at the Debussy International Piano Competition in San Francisco in 1946, followed by his American début with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy.

In 1955 Menahem Pressler founded the Beaux Arts Trio. This quickly established Pressler’s reputation as a chamber musician, and with him as its pianist for nearly 55 years the ensemble was described in the Washington Post as ‘the gold standard for trios throughout the world.’ During the 2007/08 season the Beaux Arts Trio – Pressler and his colleagues violinist Daniel Hope and cellist Antonio Meneses – took their final bows on a farewell tour. Pressler’s career is undiminished: he recently gave acclaimed recitals in the Salle Pleyel in Paris, in the Great Hall of Vienna’s Konzerthaus, played chamber music with the Emerson Quartet at the Mozart Week in Salzburg, and has been invited to give three concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2013/14 season.

For nearly 60 years, Menahem Pressler has taught at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as Distinguished Professor of Music with the Charles Webb Chair. He gives masterclasses throughout the world, and serves on the jury of international piano competitions.

Among his many distinctions, Pressler counts several honorary doctorates, six Grammy nominations, a Gramophone lifetime achievement award, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and honorary fellowship of the Jerusalem Academy of Music. In 2005 he received the German Bundesverdienstkreuz First Class, and the highest French honour, Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In June 2012 Pressler was awarded the Yehudi Menuhin Prize for the Integration of Arts and Education by Queen Sofia of Spain. He retains his deep attachment to Germany and in particular to his home city of Magdeburg, which presented him with honorary citizenship in 2009. In September 2012 Menahem Pressler was awarded German citizenship to honour his outstanding contribution to music and his unbroken links to the country of his birth.

For further information please visit Menahem Pressler's website.

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