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Murray Perahia

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Murray Perahia KBE (born April 19, 1947) is an American concert pianist and conductor.

Murray Perahia was born in the Bronx borough of New York City to a family of Sephardi Jewish origin.According to the biography on his Mozart piano sonatas CD, his first language was Judaeo-Spanish or, Ladino. The family came from Thessaloniki, Greece. His father moved to the United States in 1935.

Perahia began studying the piano at age four with a teacher he says was « very limiting » because she made him play a single piece until it was perfect. He says his musical interests blossomed at age 15 for reasons he can’t explain, and he began to practice seriously. At 17, Perahia attended Mannes College, where he studied keyboard, conducting, and composition with his teacher and mentor Mieczysław Horszowski. During the summer, he also attended Marlboro, where he studied with musicians Rudolf Serkin, Alexander Schneider, and Pablo Casals, among others. He played duets for piano four hands with Serkin, who later made Perahia his assistant at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, a position he held for over a year.
In 1965, Perahia won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In 1972, he was the first North American to win first prize at the Leeds Piano Competition, helping to cement its reputation for advancing the careers of young pianistic talent. Dr.

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