Menahem Pressler: ‘I’m here tonight thanks to a brave surgeon’

Menahem Pressler: ‘I’m here tonight thanks to a brave surgeon’


norman lebrecht

October 18, 2015

Last New Year’s Eve, the former Beaux Arts pianist Menahem Pressler made his Berlin Philharmonic debut in a Mozart concerto at the age of 91. It was a tremendous occasion, but Menahem wasn’t feeling that great.

menahem pressler berlin

When he got back to the States, doctors told him he had an inoperable heart condition and could not fly again.

‘Inoperable’ meant no surgeon would operate on a man of 91. Except one.

Dr Virendra Patel of Boston took a look at his condition and agreed to repair his aorta with the insertion of a unique, custom-made stent.

Tonight, Menahem receives the Echo Klassik Lifetime award.

To watch Menahem in conversation with Dr Patel, who explains the procedure, watch here.


  • Milka says:

    Fantastic !!!!

    • jon anderson md says:

      Yes, your surgeon was wonderful …. BUT :
      Who was your Anesthesiologist ?????

      j.a. , md
      Retired Anesthesiologist
      (NO It was not I !!)

      • jon anderson md says:

        and also , of course: who were the other’s in the room !?? Circulating Nurse, Other Nursing staff, O.R. Manager, Surgeon’s Tech Assistant, Chief Resident in Surgery …

        My point is merely that a great number of people were ‘on your side’ during you O.R. and post-O.R. experience .. and i’m sure you do understand that, … I just want to ‘brag’ for the others; I had absolutely NO role in your experience, tho yoU, sir, have supported me in that today’s WFCR radio presented your Boston performance on 2 July, 2017 !!! which I thoroughly enjoyed! A masterful work of art!
        Thank you!

  • RW2013 says:

    It’s a pity that the Germans can’t find a more dignified way to honour Mr. Pressler than this tacky, embarrassing Echo award garbage.

  • Gregor Tassie says:

    Menahem Pressler made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in January 2014 not New Years Eve, I attended a concert by him two weeks ago and he is a fantastic pianist and most significantly a great artist. No one else can play with such legato and expression in today’s music world.

  • jaypee says:

    Wow. The world is a better place thanks to people like Menahem Pressler.

    Now, why on earth are the youtube comments “deactivated”? How low can you sink when your idea of having fun is to write offensive comments about a 91-year old pianist and a surgeon?

  • Jon H says:

    I think his Berlin Phil debut involved Semyon Bychkov a year or so earlier (in Mozart piano concerto no. 17), and the appearance with Rattle was his 2nd.

  • EJP says:

    Forever grateful for these two virtuosi….

  • Michael Goldblatt says:

    He gave us a superb recital this evening in Jerusalem. He began with Mozart’s A minor rondo and Beethoven’s op.31/2, followed by some Debussy and Chopin’s 3rd ballade. We look forward to his next visit.

  • Yvonne Bäckelid says:

    We’re watching the Tv concert with Menahem Pressler. We love it! ❤