Photos of Misha and Cipa Dichter

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Photos of Misha Dichter

Misha Dichter Biography
Critical Acclaim for the Dichters




Critical Acclaim


In Concert

“A ravishing performance...Mr. Dichter’s reading [of Schubert B-flat Sonata] was that of a fresh-and-blood poet, gently inflected, keenly felt, and executed with breathtaking polish from start to finish.”

The New York Times


“To his virtuosity, Dichter adds his artistic maturity, a depth of musical awareness and strength of artistic vision.”

Chicago Sun-Times


“...[the] pianist commands a wide dynamic and emotional range, finds nuances as well as new insights in all the music he plays, and places his details carefully...Dichter’s tremendous authority at the keyboard is the result of a comprehensive technique combined with an astute musicality.”

Los Angeles Times


“Stupendous strength and brilliance...nothing was ever done just for the sake of effect.  As an interpreter, Mr. Dichter combined romantic fervor with princely self-discipline.”

The Times, London


“It would be hard to imagine a more thrilling concert than the one that featured one of the world’s most distinguished pianists, Misha Dichter, performing one of Beethoven’s great keyboard calling cards, the Piano Concerto No. 3...His interpretation was revelatory.  Far too many pianists view this piece as a dark, melodramatic dazzler...But Dichter emphasized the work’s most endearing lyrical qualities, saving his fireworks for the appropriate places, the first movement cadenza and the finale.”

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle


“What clarity of detail and what beauty of tone ravished the ear!  Not since Artur Schnabel have I heard a pianist draw such vibrant, singing tone from the upper reaches of the keyboard.”

Music and Musicians, London


Not less convincing and enthralling was the passionate interpretive enthusiasm…in the Quintet in E-flat Major of Schumann, a confrontation of strings with brilliant incisiveness of accents over the exuberant dynamism of Misha Dichter at the piano.  A sensational success, and a well-deserved approval from the public of all these musicians.”

Corriere della Sera


“Exemplary execution is a definition to use with great caution: it is used willingly with the interpretation of the piano quintet Op. 44 of Schumann, where the quartet was joined by pianist Misha Dichter.  It was obvious [to all] that this concert was very fulfilling.”

Il Tempo


 “The man is a poet at the keyboard, a truly Byronic figure who demonstrated the reasons for his membership among the world’s elite.”

The Tennessean


“One of the finest pianists of his generation–or of about any generation, for that matter...”

Indianapolis Star


As his name suggests (Dichter is German for poet), the pianist’s performance was poetry from beginning to end.  Dichter was sensitive to balance but was not shy when the music called for lyric strength or technical brilliance.”

Salt Lake Tribune


“Dichter’s right to the top place among American pianists was confirmed by everything he did in the Beethoven.”

Montreal Gazette


“In Schubert’s A Minor Sonata, Op. 143, Dichter brought out the music’s ethereal harmonic shifts and contrasty moods with a forcefulness that underscored the orchestral thinking [prevalent] during an era in which composers and virtuosi expanded the range of the grand piano, transforming it into a protean, orchestra-like instrument.”

Chicago Tribune


“Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 in C Minor (Op. 111) also came off strongly...the obsessive trills and elaborate filigree were superbly controlled, and the offbeat pianissimo sighs near the end of the work carried a wonderful yearning.”

The New York Times


“Dichter, a true professional, communed with the conductor in a brilliant, at times voluptuous, consistently stylish Beethoven First Piano Concerto.  And this only a short time after his thoughtful, lyrically fluid account of the Schubert [final sonata].

Washington Post


“The pianist, to his credit, didn’t overdo the percussive element in Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments.  There was enough variety of attack, touch and tone color to point up the baroque antecedents of Stravinsky’s angular rhythms...”

Chicago Tribune


“He made a dignified soloist in the Bartok [Piano Concerto No. 3], playing with clean execution, luminous clarity and decorous reserve.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch


“It all came together in the Brahms quartet [G Minor, Op. 25].  Dichter, although carefully balancing his instrument with the three string players, assumed a commanding role and fired the group with the zest Brahms requires.”

Chicago Sun-Times


“In three of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies, Dichter could do no wrong.  Here the pianist was clearly in his element–the virtuoso doing what he does best, dazzling on the high wire with only a rapt audience below.”

Washington Post


“...Misha Dichter joined the ensemble [Oslo Philharmonic] in Beethoven’s C-Major Concerto, achieving not only stylishness and heat, but also as many contrasts as the piece actually contains...”Seldom has one heard the Largo given such depth of feeling in tandem with a genuine sense of improvisation.”

 Los Angeles Times


“Misha Dichter gave an inspired account of the Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major [Mozart].  His keyboard work was graceful, intimate and beautifully cultivated.  It was deeply introspective in quiet passages and spirited in the bracing finale.”

New York Post


“Dichter’s tone was big and firm...and he fitted all the intricate keyboard figuration into the intricate orchestral fabric [of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1] with the ease of a master jeweler assembling a fine watch.”

Houston Post


On Recordings

“a…. performance [Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 with Kurt Masur and the Gewandhaus Leipzeig Orchestra] that ranks among the best, and that means the versions by Rubinstein (and Reiner), Serkin (and Szell), and Arrau (and Haitink). “

Audiophile Audition


“[In Brahms’ Handel Variations and other works] Dichter’s greater elegance and restraint are wholly engaging; I cannot recall hearing the opening aria given so much charm.  Ditto for the Waltzes: none of the shifting moods eludes the soloist, and even listening to 16 of them in a row is not tiring.”

American Record Guide

“There is tremendous panache in Dichter’s playing here [Liszt’s Piano Concertos], and technical difficulties seem to be utterly nonexistent for him.  Both pieces are endowed from start to finish with the genuine Lisztian Romantic surge and all the glitter one could ask.”

Stereo Review


“This is the most technically accomplished set of the complete [Liszt] Rhapsodies that I have yet heard.”



“Dichter’s style presents a modern view of Liszt at its best...It is direct, clear, strong and exuberant...He has the technique to do whatever the music demands, and he responds to the drama as well as the virtuosity of the music.”

American Record Guide


“This is one of the few really important Stravinsky discs to come out in recent years.”



In Concert with Cipa Dichter

“The musical part of the all-Shostakovich evening began with Misha and Cipa Dichter’s rhythmically fastidious, acid-tinged rendering of the Concertino for Two Pianos….The musical centerpiece was the first public performance of the first movement of the ‘Babi Yar’ Symphony in the two-piano reduction…in which the Dichters gave a muscular and sometimes fiery reading.”

The New York Times


“The performance itself was first rate.  The Dichters traversed these orchestral textures [first movement of Shostakovich’s two-piano version of the Babi Yar Symphony] with infectious élan and seeming ease.”

The New York Sun


“In their powerful performance, the Dichters showed remarkable unanimity of phrasing and virtuosic command, tossing off the most demanding pages with power and remarkable precision....both artists were at their best, nearly symbiotic in their legato and phrasing, and making the most of the gracious, lyrical music.”

Chicago Tribune


“One was struck not only by the synchronism of their musical impulses, but also by the vigor and elegance of the execution.”

The New York Times


“The Dichters offered a keenly felt, sturdily assertive performance of music that mixed deep melancholy and lighthearted gaiety.  The soft music sparkled, especially Cipa’s rippling embellishments in Chopin’s Rondo.”

Houston Chronicle


“The Dichter duo performed with uncommonly fine balances of volume and tone. A keen sensitivity and intelligent give-and-take were at work in even the most remote elements of phrasing between melody, counter-melody and supporting embellishments.”


San Francisco Chronicle


“Cleverly arranged and immaculately executed, the intriguing program of works for two pianos played by Cipa and Misha Dichter at UCLA on Wednesday had to fascinate...the Dichters’ playing of Claude Debussy’s transcription of Six Etudes in Form of a Canon by Schumann, and of Leonard Bernstein’s transcription of Copland’s El Salón México, proved again deeply impressive.”

Los Angeles Times


“The kind of sixth sense this particular virtuoso-duo demonstrated is very hard to find.”


Newark Star Ledger


Mozart:  Complete Piano Works for Four Hands (with Cipa Dichter)

“Like all music in this collection, it [Fantasia in F Minor, K. 608] is witty, melodious and superbly polished.  So is the Dichters’ performance.”

Washington Post


“The Dichters are rare not only among pianists but musicians in general because the artistic bridges they build meet exactly and tightly in the middle rather than sliding off to one side or the other. Their dual musical efforts are conceived as one, so they sound as one.  That’s all there is to it; but then, that’s everything…”

Santa Fe New Mexican


“The performances are splendid.  No surprise here.  Husband and wife pianists Misha and Cipa Dichter are one of the finest duo pianists of this era.”

Copley News Service


“This set is an unmitigated delight…All of these works were intended for pianists to have fun at private gatherings, and that is exactly what Misha and Cipa Dichter invite us to do.  Their playing is sparkling, relaxed, totally musical.  This is note-perfect playing that is never pedantic.”

American Record Guide


“There’s much to savor in the Dichters’ direct and uncluttered interpretations.  One immediately catches on to the exuberant rhythmic drive that still allows room for lyrical repose when necessary, as in the clashing brio and linear clarity they bring to their unusually brisk performance of the first movement of the B flat Sonata, K 358, the richly textured finale of the F major sonata, K497, and the central Allegro of the F minor Fantasia, K608.  ensemble synchronicity operates on a high level.”



“Piano duo enthusiasts will return again and again to Misha and Cipa Dichter’s new three-CD set.  Their playing was classical restraint combined with energy and a feeling of authority.  The music comes to life in a performance soaring with gusto and sculpted phrasing…making this a delightful, memorable recording.”



“This splendid CD set is from the husband and wife team of Misha and Cipa Dichter, who met at Juilliard as students of the great Rosina Lhevinne. Their warmly nuanced, intimate playing is utterly captivating, with beautiful balances, well-chosen tempos, and cultivated tone….Misha and Cipa Dichter have given us a real winner here.  It’s now at the forefront among versions of this delightful music.  Very highly recommended.”