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Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011

IU Distinguished Professor of Piano Menahem Pressler wins lifetime achievement award

March 1, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Menahem Pressler, distinguished professor of piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has been named the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the 2011 International Classical Music Awards.

Menahem Pressler

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The world-renowned pianist and founder of the Beaux Arts Trio will receive the award April 6 during a ceremony in Tampere, Finland. The evening will also include a Gala Concert at Tampere Hall with participation from a number of award winners and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. The concert will be broadcast by Finnish Radio and numerous other radio stations of the European Broadcasting Union's worldwide network.

The International Classical Music Awards are the pre-eminent awards for classical music on an international level. The jury consists of professional music critics of top magazines, online services and radio stations: Crescendo (Belgium), Fono Forum (Germany), Gramofon (Hungary), IMZ (Austria), MDR-Figaro (Germany), Musica (Italy), Musik & Theater (Switzerland), Orpheus Radio (Russia), Pizzicato (Luxembourg), (France), Scherzo (Spain) and Viva Classica (Finland).

Additional awards from the 2011 jury include composer and conductor Esa Pekka Salonen, Artist of the Year; French pianist David Kadouch, Young Artist of the Year; and Chandos, Label of the Year. A Special Achievement Award goes to the label BIS for its complete Sibelius Edition, a landmark in that composer's discography. The Classical Website Award goes to the Digital Concert Hall, an initiative from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

About Menahem Pressler

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

Pressler was co-founder and the only pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio for nearly 55 years. The 2007-2008 season was bittersweet, as violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Antonio Meneses and 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. 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 IU Jacobs School of Music in 1955, and he currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Music as the Charles Webb Chair. His former students grace the faculties of prestigious schools of music across the world and have become some of the most prominent, influential artists and teachers today. In addition to teaching his private students at Jacobs, he continuously presents master classes throughout the world and continues to serve on the juries of many major international piano competitions.

Among his numerous honors and awards, Pressler has received honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the North Carolina School of the Arts, an honorary professorship from China's Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, six Grammy nominations (including one in 2006), a lifetime achievement award from Gramophone magazine, Chamber Music America's Distinguished Service Award and 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, he 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.

In addition to recording nearly the entire piano chamber repertoire with the Beaux Arts Trio on the Philips label, Pressler has compiled over 30 solo recordings, ranging from the works of Bach to Ben Haim.

For more information about the International Classical Music Awards, visit

For more information about the IU Jacobs School of Music, visit