Menahem Pressler, the renowned pianist and founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, died on May 6, 2023. He was born in Magdeburg, Germany, in 1923, began studying piano at the age of six, and made his professional debut at the age of 14. In 1939, he fled Nazi Germany and emigrated to Israel.
Pressler has appeared several times in Friends of Music Concerts. The first occasion was on November 28, 1955 as a solo artist in our 9th ever concert, playing a varied program including works by Liszt, Handel, Gershwin, Debussy and Beethoven. In 1955, he co-founded the Beaux Arts Trio with violinist Daniel Guilet and cellist Bernard Greenhouse. The trio quickly became one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles in the world, performing all over the globe, including twelve times at Friends of Music Concerts from 1967 until 1994.
Pressler had a distinguished career apart from the Beaux Arts as well, performing solo and with major orchestras and ensembles. He was a master pianist with a warm, lyrical touch, known for his elegant phrasing and an ability to bring out the beauty of the music. He was also a much sought-after teacher, holding the rank of Distinguished Professor of Music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
More extensive obituaries were published by The New York Times here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/06/arts/music/menahem-pressler-dead.html, and by Indiana University here: https://music.indiana.edu/news-events/news/info/2023/05/iu-mourns-menahem-pressler.html.
2014 New Year’s Eve Concert / Rattle · Pressler · Berliner Philharmoniker