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Veteran pianist Murray Perahia visits Mondavi for the first time

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From page A15 | February 14, 2014 | Leave Comment

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Pianist Murray Perahia will perform on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Mondavi. Felix Broede/Courtesy photo

Murray Perahia — a pianist whose storied career extends back into the 1960s — will give a solo recital at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Mondavi Center.

Born in New York in the late 1940s, Perahia studied at Mannes College and spent summers at the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, where he collaborated with now-departed greats like pianist Rudolph Serkin and cellist Pablo Casals. Perahia became a friend of pianist Vladimir Horowitz, Perahia also went to England and won the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1972, which led to an invitation work with composer Benjamin Britten at the Aldeburgh Festival the following year. Perahia later would become co-artistic director at Aldeburgh during most of the 1980s.

Over the course of a distinguished career, Perahia has appeared as a pianist with just about all of the world’s major orchestras — immediately prior to his appearance at Mondavi, he will be performing the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under veteran conductor Bernard Haitink (two performances in Boston, one in New York at Carnegie Hall). The recital at Mondavi is the first stop in a recital tour that will take Perahia to San Francisco, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Perahia also leads orchestras — he studied conducting decades ago at Mannes College and currently serves as principal guest conductor with the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields. And he is a prodigious recording artist, with dozens of albums to his credit. He has won two Grammy awards and been nominated on many other occasions.

This will be the first time Perahia has given a recital at Mondavi. His program is loaded with classics: he will begin with J.S. Bach (the French Suite No. 4, BWV 815), followed by the “Appasionata” Sonata by Beethoven (Op. 57), the early Robert Schumann piece “Papillons” (“Butterflies”), and then several pieces by Chopin, including the Scherzo No. 2, several etudes, and a nocturne.

Tickets start at $73 general, $36.50 for UC Davis students, at www.mondaviarts.org or 530-754-2787.

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