Miklós Perényi, cello

Miklós Perényi is recognized as one of the great cellists of his generation, with a distinctive, subtly nuanced sound matched by extraordinary musicality.

Born in Hungary, he began cello lessons at the age of five with Miklós Zsámboki, a student of David Popper. At the age of nine, he gave his first concert in Budapest and went on to study between 1960 and 1964 with Enrico Mainardi in Rome and, in Budapest, with Ede Banda. In 1963 he became a prizewinner at the International Pablo Casals Cello Competition in Budapest. Casals invited him to his master classes in Puerto Rico in 1965 and 1966, and he went on to become a frequent visitor to the Marlboro Festival.

In 1974, Miklós Perényi joined the faculty at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, where he has held a professorship since 1980. He was honoured with the Kossuth-Prize in 1980 and the Bartók-Pásztory-Prize in 1987.

Perényi has appeared in the world’s major musical centres, performing regularly around Europe, in Japan and China and in North and South America. His festival engagements have included Edinburgh, Lucerne, Prague, Salzburg, Vienna, Hohenems, Warsaw, Berlin, Kronberg, and the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades in France. With a repertoire ranging from the 17th century to the present, he appears as a soloist with orchestra, in solo and duo recitals and in chamber ensembles. Beyond performing and teaching, he also devotes his energies to composition of works for solo cello and for instrumental ensembles of various sizes.

Among his closest colleagues is the pianist András Schiff, with whom he has appeared at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Edinburgh Festival and the Ruhr Festival. Recently, the duo played at Cologne’s Philharmonie, the Schwetzingen Festival, London’s Wigmore Hall and the 92nd Street in New York.

Highlights of the 2012/2013 season include orchestra and chamber concerts in Japan, England, France, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic. In Spring 2013, Perenyi appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle in performances of Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto in Berlin, Essen and Paris. A highlight of the 2013/14 season is going to be his tour with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Andras Schiff.

Miklós Perényi’s numerous recordings include releases for Hungaroton, EMI-Quint, Sony Classical, Decca, col legno, Teldec, Erato and Wigmore Hall’s own label. Perenyi’s ECM release of Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano, with Andras Schiff, won the Cannes Classical Award 2005; his latest recording with ECM, of solo works by Britten, Bach and Ligeti, was released in early 2012 to critical acclaim. Miklos Perenyi’s upcoming CD, featuring the Schubert Quintet with the Kuss Quartet, will be released in September 2013 under the Onyx Classics label.