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Menahem Pressler to perform at Setnor April 10

April 07, 2011

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Acclaimed pianist Menahem Pressler will perform Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. in Setnor Auditorium in Crouse College. The concert is presented by the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music and the Setnor School of Music.

Tickets are $10 for students and $25 for the public. They are available at the door.

presslerPianist of the Beaux Arts Trio for more than five decades, Pressler is among the world’s most honored musicians. Four days before his recital in Syracuse, Pressler will be in Finland to receive one of the music world’s most coveted honors—a lifetime achievement award given by a jury of international music critics. It is the latest of many honors heaped on the distinguished pianist, among them honorary doctorates at several universities, an invitation to dine at the White House and Germany’s highest honor, the Iron Cross, bestowed on him in 2005 in his native town of Magdeburg, Germany, from which his family had fled to Palestine 70 years earlier, just before the outbreak of World War II.

It was as a solo pianist that Pressler began his career, winning a prestigious Debussy competition in 1946 and appearing with eminent orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. But his career changed course after he received a life-altering phone call from cellist Bernard Greenhouse asking if he would be interested joining him in a piano trio. That was the beginning of the Beaux Arts Trio, one of the most long-lived and celebrated ensembles of our time. For more than 50 years, the Beaux Arts performed some hundred concerts annually, and recorded the entire repertoire for piano trio. There were several personnel changes through the years, but Pressler remained a constant.

For his Syracuse program, Pressler has chosen three works of extraordinary depth and richness: Beethoven: Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Opus 11; Debussy: Estampes; and Schubert: Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960.

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