Sri Lankan-born Malinee Jayasinghe-Peris teaches at The George
Washington University as Professor Emeritus of Music. she was the
Coordinator for Keyboard Studies for many years. In addition to teaching piano, she coaches
Professor Peris began her formal music studies
with her music teacher (and mother) Frances E. Peris at the age of 4. She
continued her training with Ms. Alix Cockburn who presented her at her debut
piano recital in Colombo, Sri Lanka, when she was 12. Her teacher in
violin performance at this time was Eileen Prins. The Times of Ceylon
newspaper and the Government of Sri Lanka awarded scholarships to Ms. Peris
to enable her to continue her musical studies in Europe. She studied at the
Royal College of Music, London, as an Associated Board Scholar, where
her teachers were Lance Dossor (piano), Isolde Menges (violin), Dr. Ivor
James (chamber ensemble) and Dr. Herbert Howells (harmony and composition).
She has had classes with Henryk Stompka in Poland, and Leon Fleisher, Earl
Wilde, and Ilona Kabos in the US. The musician who had the most influence on
her performance and musical education was Hungarian-born virtuoso Louis
Kentner, who was her teacher and mentor for over 20 years.
Prof. Peris was a prize winner at the International Chopin Competition
in Warsaw, Poland, and her career as a concert pianist has encompassed
recitals in cities worldwide, including London, Amsterdam, Brussels,
Cologne, Lisbon, Lausanne, Mexico City and Montreal. Ms. Peris was invited
by the Secretary General of the United Nations to play at the concert
marking the 22nd anniversary of Human Rights Day in the General Assembly
Hall of The UN.
She has toured the People's Republic of China, the
former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and has played extensively in Asia and
Australia. Her concert tours included both solo recitals, concerti with
orchestra, and concerts with a chamber ensemble group. The Prague Spring
Festival was among the many European music festivals at which Ms. Peris has
performed. She was frequently featured as soloist under the auspices of the
Gulbenkian Foundation during her extended stay in Portugal. She has played
with major American orchestras--including appearances at New York's Lincoln
Center and Washington DC--as well as with orchestras in Europe, Israel, and
Prof. Peris conducted a program of lectures on Britain's
independent television station ITV entitled "Music as an International
Language" and has recorded for the British Broadcasting Corporation and
Germany's radio and television network. She has been a frequent performer on
Belgium's "Radio Three" program.
In February 1993, Prof. Peris was
honored by the country of her birth when the President of Sri Lanka bestowed
on her the title of "Kala Keerthi", the country's highest award for
excellence in the arts. The Sri Lanka Foundation of America has presented
Ms. Peris with a Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2007.
her other activities, Professor Peris has reviewed for the Washington Post
and was on the board of "Dumbarton Concerts" which, in addition to its
chamber music series operates the "Inner City-Inner Child" program for the
benefit of disadvantaged children in the city. She has been a Lay
Eucharistic Minister and Reader at the Washington National Cathedral for
Ms. Peris has produced CD recordings of her work. Her
first CD, "Ravel/Debussy" was released in 2002. Her second, "From Portugal
to Brazil" was released in 2003 featuring Portuguese and Brazilian piano
music. Regarding this CD, the American Record Guide says “she plays with a
refinement and depth of sonority beyond the grasp of the recent
competition.” A CD of Spanish and Mexican works entitled "From Spain to
Mexico" was released in 2005. Her fourth CD featuring special musical pieces
for children, entitled "A Child’s Garland of Music", was released in
September 2007. These CDs are managed by Brioso Records.
As a breast
cancer survivor, Ms. Peris found that playing some of Chopin’s works became
especially meaningful to her during her treatment. A fifth CD featuring
these works, entitled "A Journey from Darkness to Light with Chopin" was
released by Amico Artists in 2010.
In private life, Ms. Peris was
married to the late Hon. D.A. (Algy) de Silva, Sri Lankan Ambassador to
Belgium and the European Union. She has 3 children who are physicians in the
Ms Peris is a Steinway Artist.