Murray Perahia


Murray Perahia has been my favorite pianist ever since I listened to his recordings (owned by my dad), including one of him and Radu Lupu playing the Schubert Fantasie in F minor. Perahia and Lupu’s recording is probably the best of this piece, and it’s a piano duet that my sister and I have played for many years. (Fun Fact: Perahia, who is my favorite pianist, made his debut many years ago with my favorite conductor, Riccardo Muti. Who knew?)

I first saw Perahia live when he came to Chicago in 2012, and he didn’t fail to live up to my expectations. When he played that third movement of the Moonlight Sonata – it was just absolutely ravishing to see live as his performance was not only full of power and speed, but also artistry, clarity, and color.

When Perahia made his return back to Symphony Center today, my sister and I knew that we had to meet him. After hearing his program filled with Bach/Haydn/Beethoven/Franck/Chopin, we went downstairs, armed with the numerous recordings we had of him and our piano music, to see if we could get a chance to meet him! Luckily, there were others waiting as well, so we didn’t feel as awkward just hovering around the artists’ door. After a couple of minutes, the security guard notified us that Perahia would be meeting everyone, so we would all get a chance to get something signed! We all walked in, down the hallway, and lined up outside his dressing room. Murray was incredibly soft-spoken, with a British-tinted accent (he lives in London now), and signed a CD/score for us. We talked about the Fantasie, and he was kind enough to take a photo with us! It was the highlight of all of spring break. Hopefully he comes back to Chicago soon!


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