MISHA DICHTER traces his musical heritage to the two great pianistic traditions of the 20th century: the Russian Romantic School as personified by Rosina Lhevinne, his mentor at The Juilliard School, and the German Classical style that was passed on to him by Aube Tzerko, a pupil of Artur Schnabel. Mr. Dichter reveals this dual legacy in his solo recitals and appearances with virtually all the world’s major orchestras, performing the grand virtuoso compositions of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, as well as music from the central German-Viennese repertoire – works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms.
Mr. Dichter’s acclaimed recordings for Philips, RCA, MusicMasters and Koch Classics further illustrate his musical interests. They include the Brahms piano concerti with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Brahms solo works including the Handel Variations, Beethoven piano sonatas, the complete Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies, the Liszt Piano Concerti with André Previn and the Pittsburgh Symphony 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 exponent of Liszt’s piano works and a champion of the composer’s forward-looking contributions to the development of music, Mr. Dichter was honored in 1998 with the “Grand Prix International du Disque Liszt,” presented for his Phillips recording of Liszt piano transcriptions.
Mr. Dichter’s first recording with Cipa Dichter is a three-CD album of Mozart’s complete piano works for four hands on the Musical Heritage Society label. American Record Guide called the recording “an unmitigated delight,” and Music Web International named the album a 2005 “Record of the Year.”
Mr. Dichter was born in Shanghai in 1945, his Polish parents having fled Poland at the outbreak of World War II. He moved with his family to Los Angeles at the age of 2 and began piano lessons four years later. In addition to his keyboard studies with Aube Tzerko, Mr. Dichter studied composition and analysis with Leonard Stein. He subsequently came to New York to work with Mme. Lhevinne at The Juilliard School.
At the age of 20, while still enrolled at Juilliard, he entered the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, where his choice of repertoire – music of Schubert and Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky – reflected the two major influences on his musical development. Dichter’s stunning triumph at that competition launched his international career. Almost immediately thereafter, he performed Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 at Tanglewood with Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony, a concert that was nationally broadcast live on NBC and recorded for RCA. In 1968, Dichter made his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, performing this same concerto.
Mr. Dichter is an avid tennis player and jogger, as well as a talented sketch artist. His drawings have been exhibited in New York art galleries. Mr. Dichter lives in New York City with his wife, pianist CIPA DICHTER. The Dichters have two grown sons.