普雷斯勒，美藝三重奏的創始成員，他在該團擔任了超過60年的鋼琴家，成為現今全世界最特別也最受敬重的音樂家之一。現在的他已經 93 歲，他藉著鋼琴演出與教育，持續啟發著全世界的聽眾們，不僅舉行聲譽卓著的鋼琴獨奏會或是室內樂音樂會，同時也活躍於大師班的活動之中。
普雷斯勒 1923 年出生於德國的馬德堡，1939 年為了逃離納粹而移民以色列。普雷斯勒 1946 年在舊金山贏得德布西國際鋼琴大賽的首獎，開啟他的演奏生涯；得獎之後，普雷斯勒在美國的首演與奧曼第／費城管弦樂團合作，大獲好評，自此普雷斯勒在北美與歐洲巡迴演出，與紐約、芝加哥、克里夫蘭、匹茲堡、達拉斯、舊金山、倫敦、巴黎、布魯塞爾、奧斯陸、赫爾辛基等地的管弦樂團合作演出。
在經歷將近十年的獨奏生涯之後，1955 年起普雷斯勒在波克夏音樂節上開始演奏室內樂，在那裡他開始以美藝三重奏的鋼琴家登台演出。這個組合讓普雷斯勒在既有的名聲上迅速上升，成為世界上最受人尊敬的室內樂音樂家。普雷斯勒專心致力於美藝三重奏將近 55 年，《紐約時報》稱美藝三重奏「高於其他三重奏，本身自成一格。」《華盛頓郵報》形容美藝三重奏「在 50 多年前成立的時候，美藝三重奏已經是室內樂界享譽全球的金字招牌。」2007/08 樂季，美藝三重奏的小提琴家霍普、大提琴家梅內塞斯與鋼琴家普雷斯勒做了最後的演出，宣告了史上最受崇敬也最享有盛名的鋼琴三重奏組合確定解散。不過見證一個藝術傳奇的終結，同時也讓我們看到另一個傳奇正要開始：普雷斯勒繼續為全世界的觀眾帶來驚喜，他不僅舉行獨奏會，也與茱莉亞四重奏、艾默森四重奏、克里夫蘭四重奏等其他室內樂團體一同演出。普雷斯勒最近在奧地利的鋼琴獨奏會，《奧地利新聞報》（Die Presse）形容：「他敲擊出來的音色是那失傳已久的音色，一種自肯普夫以來就未曾聽聞的音色。」普雷斯勒以獨奏家的身份，持續與柏林愛樂、巴黎管弦樂團、阿姆斯特丹皇家大會堂管弦樂團合作演出。
將近 60 年來，普雷斯勒在世界著名的印第安那大學音樂系任教，與他輝煌的演出生涯相比，教學領域的成就也同樣耀眼，甚至被讚譽為「教育大師」，他教出許多國際鋼琴大賽的首獎得主，包括伊莉沙白大賽、布梭尼大賽、魯賓斯坦大賽、里茲大賽、范克萊本大賽與其他許多大賽。他教出來的學生們，現在在全世界許多重要的音樂學院或大學裡擔任教授。普雷斯勒除了教導他在印第安那的學生們，也持續地在世界各地開設大師班，在許多主要的國際鋼琴大賽裡擔任評審一職。
普雷斯勒接受曼哈頓音樂學院、內布拉斯加大學、舊金山音樂院，北卡羅萊納藝術學院的榮譽博士學位，獲得葛萊美獎六度提名、《留聲機雜誌》的終生成就獎、國際室內樂協會的終生成就獎、美國室內樂特殊貢獻獎、國家藝術和文學協會的金牌獎，也獲得德國評論人「榮譽證書」獎，同時入選美國文理科學院院士。2007 年普雷斯勒受聘為耶路撒冷音樂與舞蹈學院的榮譽院士，表彰他一生的音樂演出與音樂的領導地位。 2005 年普雷斯勒獲得兩個國際勳章：德國總統頒贈的一級德意志十字勳章，代表德意志的最高榮耀；以及法國文化界的至高榮耀，藝術與文學勳章。普雷斯勒近年來獲得的榮耀還包括聲望極高的維格摩獎章（2011 年）、由西班牙皇后頒贈的曼紐因獎（2012 年）、入選《美國古典音樂》與《留聲機雜誌》的名人堂（2012 年）、國立音樂教師協會的終生成就獎。
普雷斯勒的錄音除了在美藝三重奏時期於 Philips 唱片公司灌錄的所有室內樂作品之外，也將近有 30 張左右的獨奏錄音，範圍從巴赫的到班海姆（Paul Ben-Haim）作品。
Menahem Pressler, founding member and pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, has established himself among the world’s most distinguished and honored musicians, with a career that spans almost six decades. Now, at 93 years old, he continues to captivate audiences throughout the world as performer and pedagogue, performing solo and chamber music recitals to great critical acclaim while maintaining a dedicated and robust teaching career.
Born in Magdeburg, Germany in 1923, Pressler fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and emigrated to Israel. Pressler’s world renowned career was launched after he was awarded first prize at the Debussy International Piano Competition in San Francisco in 1946. This was followed by his successful American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Eugene Ormandy. Since then, Pressler’s extensive tours of North America and Europe have included performances with the orchestras of New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Francisco, London, Paris, Brussels, Oslo, Helsinki and many others.
After nearly a decade of an illustrious and praised solo career, the 1955 Berkshire Music Festival saw Menahem Pressler’s debut as a chamber musician, where he appeared as pianist with the Beaux Arts Trio. This collaboration quickly established Pressler’s reputation as one of the world’s most revered chamber musicians. With Pressler at the Trio’s helm as the only pianist for nearly 55 years, The New York Times described the Beaux Arts Trio as “in a class by itself” and the Washington Post exclaimed that “since its founding more than 50 years ago, the Beaux Arts Trio has become the gold standard for trios throughout the world.” The 2007-2008 season was nothing short of bitter-sweet, as violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Antonio Meneses and Menahem Pressler took their final bows as The Beaux Arts Trio, which marked the end of one of the most celebrated and revered chamber music careers of all time. What saw the end of a one artistic legacy also witnessed the beginning of another, as Pressler continues to dazzle audiences throughout the world, both as piano soloist and collaborating chamber musician, including performances with the Juilliard, Emerson, American, and Cleveland Quartets, among many others. Of his recent solo performance in Austria, Die Presse wrote: “he struck a tone that was long believed lost already, a tone we perhaps last heard from Wilhelm Kempff.” His upcoming solo concertizing engagements include performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestra de Paris and the Concertgebow Orchestra, among others.
For nearly 60 years, Menahem Pressler has taught on the piano faculty at the world-renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Music as the Charles Webb Chair. Equally as illustrious as his performing career, Professor Pressler has been hailed as “Master Pedagogue” and has had prize-winning students in all of the major international piano competitions, including the Queen Elizabeth, Busoni, Rubenstein, Leeds and VanCliburn competitions among many others. His former students grace the faculties of prestigious schools of music across the world, and have become some of the most prominent and influential artist-teachers today. In addition to teaching his private students at Indiana University, he continuously presents master classes throughout the world, and continues to serve on the jury of many major international piano competitions.
Among his numerous honors and awards, Pressler has received honorary doctorates from the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Nebraska, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the North Carolina School of the Arts, six Grammy nominations (including one in 2006), lifetime achievement awards from Gramophone magazine and the International Chamber Music Association, Chamber Music America’s Distinguished Service Award, the Gold Medal of Merit from the National Society of Arts and Letters. He has also been awarded the German Critics “Ehrenurkunde” award, and election into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2007 Pressler was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in recognition of a lifetime of performance and leadership in music. In 2005 Pressler received two additional awards of international merit: the German President’s Deutsche Bundesverdienstkreuz (German Cross of Merit) First Class, Germany’s highest honor, and France’s highest cultural honor, the Commandeur in the Order of Arts and Letters award. His more recent honors and awards include the prestigious Wigmore Medal (2011), the Menuhin Prize given by the Queen of Spain (2012), inductions into the American Classical Music and Gramophone Magazine Halls of Fame (2012), and the Music Teachers National Association Achievement Award.
In addition to recording nearly the entire piano chamber repertoire with the Beaux Arts Trio on the Philips label, Menahem Pressler has compiled over thirty solo recordings, ranging from the works of Bach to Ben Haim.