Guest member

Miklós Perényi is recognised 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 2010/2011 season include recitals and chamber concerts at the Salzburg Festival, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, and in Amsterdam, Luxembourg, London, Tokyo and Budapest. Perényi will also give the world premiere of Péter Eötvös’ cello concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic and his other orchestral engagements include the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Hague Residentie Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the Budapest Festival Orchestra at New York’s Lincoln Center.

Miklós Perényi’s numerous recordings include releases for Hungaroton, EMI, Sony Classical, Teldec, Decca, col legno and Erato. Among the prizes for his ECM release of Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano, with András Schiff, was the Cannes Classical Award 2005. In 2009 a live recording of a recital with Dénes Várjon of works by Bach, Britten and Brahms was released on Wigmore Hall’s own label.