Artist in Residence
Menahem Pressler (piano)
Menahem Pressler, a founding member and pianist of The Beaux Arts Trio, has established himself among the world’s most distinguished and honoured musicians with a career that spans almost six decades. Now aged 92, he continues to captivate audiences throughout the world as a performer and tutor, performing solo and chamber music recitals to great critical acclaim while maintaining a dedicated and robust teaching career. Born in Magdeburg in Germany in 1923, Menahem Pressler fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and emigrated to Israel. His international career was launched after he was awarded 1st prize at the Debussy International Piano Competition in San Francisco in 1946. This was followed by his successful American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of maestro Eugene Ormandy. Since then, Menahem Pressler’s extensive tours of North America and Europe have included performances with the orchestras of New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Francisco, London, Paris, Brussels, Oslo and Helsinki among numerous others. After nearly a decade of an illustrious and acclaimed solo career, the 1955 Berkshire Music Festival saw Menahem Pressler’s debut as a chamber musician, where he appeared as a pianist with The Beaux Arts Trio. With Menahem Pressler at the Trio’s helm as the only pianist for nearly fifty-five years, The New York Times described The Beaux Arts Trio as “in a class by itself”. The 2007-2008 season was nothing short of bitter-sweet, as the trio took their final bows which marked the end of one of the most celebrated and revered chamber music careers of all time. For nearly sixty years Menahem Pressler has taught on the piano faculty at the world-renowned Indiana University where he currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Music. He has had prize-winning students in all of the major international piano competitions, including the Queen Elisabeth, Busoni, Rubenstein, Leeds and Van Cliburn Competitions. In addition he serves on the juries of many major international piano competitions. Among his numerous honours and awards, Menahem Pressler has received honorary doctorates from the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Nebraska, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the North Carolina School of the Arts and six Grammy nominations. In addition to recording nearly the entire chamber piano repertoire with The Beaux Arts Trio on the Philips label, Menahem Pressler has compiled over thirty solo recordings, ranging from the works of Bach to Ben Haim.