Misha Dichter, Piano
Cipa Dichter, Piano
Legends for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 59
7 Lieder ohne Worte (“Songs without Words”)
(world premiere of four-hand arrangements)
Sonata in A Minor, D. 784 (Op. 143)
Six Bagatelles Op. 126
Concerto pathétique for Two Pianos
* First performance at Ravinia Festival
MISHA DICHTER, Piano
Misha Dichter was born in 1945 in Shanghai, where his Polish parents sought refuge at the outbreak of World War II. At age 2 he arrived with his family in Los Angeles, where he began his piano studies four years later. He studied composition and analysis with Leonard Stein, a disciple of Arnold Schoenberg, and subsequently with Rosina Lhévinne at The Juilliard School. He also studied with Aube Tzerko, a pupil of Artur Schnabel, and his musical influences are therefore a mix of the German Classical school and the Russian Romantic school. At age 20 he launched his international career with a triumph at the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and appeared immediately at Tanglewood performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Boston Symphony under Erich Leinsdorf. After his 1968 New York Philharmonic debut under the baton of Leonard Bernstein, his international career flourished. He has since performed both in solo recitals and with orchestra at the world’s most famous concert halls. He has amassed an extensive discography, which includes Brahms’s piano concertos with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Brahms’s solo piano works and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Neville Marriner and the Philharmonia Orchestra, as well as music of Chopin, Mussorgsky, Schubert, Schumann, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. A noted proponent of Liszt’s piano works, Dichter has also recorded that composer’s complete Hungarian Rhapsodies and piano concertos, and he received a 1998 Grand Prix du Disque Liszt for his album of Liszt piano transcriptions. Dichter is also an accomplished writer who has contributed articles to leading publications, including the New York Times, and his drawings have been exhibited in New York art galleries.
CIPA DICHTER, Piano
Born in Brazil of Polish-Russian parents, Cipa Dichter had her first piano lessons at age 6. She made her professional debut at age 16 with the Symphony Orchestra of Brazil and came to the United States to study with Rosina Lhévinne at Juilliard, where she met her future husband, Misha. The Dichters made their first appearance together at the Hollywood Bowl in 1972, four years after their marriage, and have since revived many previously neglected works of the two-piano and piano-four-hands repertoire, including the world premiere of Robert Starer's Concerto for Two Pianos and the world premiere of the first movement of Shostakovich’s two-piano version of Symphony No. 13 (“Babi Yar”). The Dichters’ first recording—a three-CD album of the complete piano works for four hands by Mozart plus four-hand arrangements by Busoni and Grieg—was released by Musical Heritage Society. Music Web International named the album “Recording of the Year” for 2005. The pair regularly performs at summer festivals including Aspen, Mostly Mozart, the Hollywood Bowl, Caramoor and the Mann Center. This summer they will premiere Mendelssohn’s own four-hand setting of seven of his Songs without Words, Op. 62 and Op. 67, at Ravinia and later at the Aspen Music Festival to commemorate the composer’s 200th birthday. This is Misha Dichter’s 40th Ravinia season and the Dichters’ 15th duo appearance at Ravinia, where they first performed together in 1974.