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Photo: Courtesy of Indiana University
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Photo: Indiana Public Media
One of Spain’s highest honors will be presented to Menahem Pressler, a professor at Indiana University’s Jacob’s School of Music. The Queen of Spain will honor Pressler in June with the Reina Sofia School of Music’s top award at the royal palace in Madrid.
Eighty-eight-year-old world renowned pianist, IU Professor Menahem Pressler is considered on the best musicians in the world. He has already been awarded the German President’s highest honor, the Cross of Merit, and France’s highest cultural award, the Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters.
Now, Queen Sophia of Spain will present the Yehudi Menuhin Prize to Pressler in a June ceremony. Spain bestows the award to stellar musicians who also dedicate much of their time to educating youth. Pressler was selected from more than 40 nominees to be the 2012 recipient. In addition to a medal, he will also receive €18,000 or around $24,000.
Pressler will be the 9th annual recipient of the award.
“The honor is great because the Queen gives it,” Pressler says. “But, the honor is really greater because of the people who have gotten it before me.”
Pressler joins the ranks of such acclaimed musicians as Alfredo Kraus, Carlo Giulini, and Zubin Mehta. The ceremony will take place at the Royal Palace. He says his exchange with Queen Sophia will be limited.
“My talking is actually not done with my mouth,” he says. “My talking is actually done with my fingers.”
Pressler began teaching piano at the Jacobs School in 1955. He has been nominated for six Grammys.