Menahem Pressler, Pianist Who Co-Founded the Beaux Arts Trio, Dies at 99

“In recent years there has been a rapid growth not only in the chamber music audience, but in the sophistication of that audience and the awareness that the genre includes sonatas, piano trios, small vocal ensembles, quintets, sextets, and indeed all kinds of music. We have seen it grow, as John Rockwell of The Times wrote in 1979:

In 2008, when the Beaux Arts Trio disbanded after 53 years, Mr. Pressler remained its anchor and the last surviving original member. continued. He also went on to teach at Indiana University, where he served as Charles H. Webb’s Chair of Music.

Menachem Pressler was born in Magdeburg, Germany, on December 16, 1923, 153 years after Beethoven’s birthday. One of his three children of Moshe and Judith (Zavderer) Pressler, he began playing the piano at the age of six and has been an accomplished performer since his teens, becoming a Jewish It was secretly taught by the organist of the church after the persecution erupted into a frenzy.

He recalled Kristallnacht in November 1938, when the Nazis orchestrated nationwide attacks on Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues.

“Thugs broke into our family store in Magdeburg, a men’s clothing store,” said Pressler. told the Guardian His English still had the German accent of his childhood, but he fell into the present tense as vivid memories came back. On the street you can hear running, screaming and banging on doors. “

Menahem, his parents, and brothers Leo and Thelma fled to Italy a few months later, arriving in Haifa. His grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins ​​died in the Holocaust.

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