“Pressler’s ability to give all the voices prominence while simultaneously isolating the melody was amazing. His fingers still retain a youthful facility.” –The Washington Post

Menahem Pressler pianist

At the age of 89, world renowned pianist Menahem Pressler has been performing for nearly six decades. And his long career is not over yet, as he continues to hold a rigorous performance schedule with orchestras around the world. In one interview he expresses his appreciation to still be able to play: “At my age, I seem to be not getting tired. That is my own miracle. That I can sit there for five hours and rehearse and practice.”

While he is famous for his solo piano performances, Pressler actually started out playing the violin, and his brother took piano lessons. But frequently his brother would be too tired to play, so Pressler took his brother’s spot at the piano. Eventually his mother told him it was time to choose one instrument or the other, and he chose to pursue the piano.

Menahem Pressler also founded the Beaux Arts Trio, which performed for an impressive 53 years. The Washington Post wrote, “since its founding more than 50 years ago, the Beaux Arts Trio has become the gold standard for trios throughout the world.” Among the trio’s many accomplishments are winning Gramophone Record of the Year, a Grammy nomination for recording music by Spanish composers, and being inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

While Pressler was performing solo piano concerts, he never lost sight of his passion for teaching. He was presented with many opportunities to teach less for a higher salary, or not teach at all, yet he remained dedicated to his students. In an interview with Indiana University Pressler explains, “I discovered that without teaching I would miss something very very important in my life. Because the older you get the more you realize, that there is something you want to leave when you leave, and that is the kind of way in which you look at music. What music means to you. And what you are capable and able to give a student so it will mean that much to them.” Pressler taught at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music for nearly 60 years and currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Music.

 

 

Awards

  • Music Teachers National Association Achievement Award (2012)
  • ICMA Lifetime Achievement Award (2011)
  • December 16, 2003 declared Menahem Pressler Day in Pressler’s home town, Bloomington Indiana
  • Elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences (2000)
  • Received one of only five Lifetime Achievement Awards granted in the last 50 years by Gramophone magazine (1998)
  • Honored with Chamber Music America ‘s Distinguished Service Award (1994)
  • Nominated for six Grammy Awards
  • Winner of the Debussy International Piano Competition (1946)

Menahem Pressler Live in Steamboat Springs
Menahem Pressler will perform two concerts at the Strings Music Pavilion:

Sunday, June 30: Mozart Piano Concerto No. 17 with the Strings Festival Orchestra
Wednesday, July 3: Three chamber pieces with Andrés Cárdenes, Paul Coletti and David Hardy

Tickets go on sale Wednesday April 10th at 10:00am Mountain Daylight Time. Order tickets online or by calling the Box Office (970) 879-5056 x 105.

Posted on March 6, 2013
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