Indiana University

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Last modified: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birthday concert for IU Distinguished Professor Menahem Pressler features tenor Christoph Pregardien

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Nov. 15, 2012

UPDATE: Tickets for this concert have been distributed. A number of standby tickets will be available at the concert hall just before 8 p.m. on the day of performance.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In celebration of Distinguished Professor Menahem Pressler's 89th birthday Dec. 16, the Jacobs School of Music will present a concert featuring the pianist with world-renowned tenor Christoph Prégardien. The concert, beginning at 8 p.m. in Auer Hall, will include a performance of Franz Schubert's song cycle "Winterreise," or "Winter Journey."

"It's truly wonderful to be in Bloomington on my birthday, and to perform for my colleagues and friends is an honor," Pressler said. "This particular birthday comes with the thrill of performing one of the most beautiful works in the musical repertoire with one of the greatest singers. It's sure to be a day to remember."

The concert is free to the public, with tickets available in person at the Musical Arts Center Box Office. Note: The box office will close for the Thanksgiving holiday at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and reopen at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26.

A founding member and pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio, Pressler has established himself among the world's most distinguished and honored musicians, with a career that spans more than six decades.

Born in Magdeburg, Germany, in 1923, Pressler fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and emigrated to Israel. His 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 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.

Though the Beaux Arts Trio gave its final performance in the 2007-08 season, Pressler continues to perform throughout the world, both as piano soloist and collaborating chamber musician, including performances with the Juilliard, Emerson, American and Cleveland Quartets, among many others.

Pressler joined the piano faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 1955 and currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Music as the Charles Webb Chair. He has received numerous awards and honors and, in addition to recording nearly the entire piano chamber repertoire with the Beaux Arts Trio on the Philips label, has compiled more than 30 solo recordings.

Prégardien is a lyric tenor, known for his work as an innovative pedagogue and chamber musician.

Especially revered as a Lieder singer, Prégardien can be heard this season in London's Wigmore Hall, deSingel Antwerp and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. In early 2012, he'll conduct the Le Concert Lorrain ensemble and the Nederlands Kamerkoor in Johann Sebastian Bach's "St. John Passion" on a European tour with performances in Oslo, Vienna, Warsaw, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Brussels, Bologna, Lucerne and Paris.

Much of Prégardien's repertoire has been recorded on the BMG, EMI, DG, Philips, Sony, Erato and Teldec labels. His discography numbers over 130 titles, many of which have been awarded international prizes.

From 2000 to 2005, he taught at the Hochschule Musik und Theater in Zurich. Since 2004, he has been a professor at the Academy of Music in Cologne. As part of the Schott Master Class series, he published an innovative multimedia DVD/book addressing vocal technique and musical interpretation.

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