Perl studied with Carlos Botto at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Günter Ludwig at the Musikhochschule in Cologne and Maria Curcio in London. He gave his first concert at the age of nine and then performed throughout South America and Europe as recitalist and with the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra and the Zagreb Symphony Orchestra. Perl has since been a prizewinner in major competitions, including the Ferruccio Busoni Competition in Bolzano and the Beethoven Competition in Vienna, and he won first prize at the International Piano Competition in Montevideo.
In 1990 Perl performed Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage for the BBC in London and gave recitals at the Herkulessaal in Munich in May of 1991. By 1992 he was included in the South Bank’s International Piano Series in London. This led to concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and recitals in Prague and at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Perl made his debut in the United States with the Florida Philharmonic and gave a recital at the Ravinia Festival. During the 1990s Perl performed in Europe and at the Moscow Conservatory. At the end of that decade he performed the complete Beethoven piano sonatas at London’s Wigmore Hall as well as in Santiago and Moscow. In 1997 he toured Germany appearing at the main cultural centres, toured South Africa with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, and played with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall.
Perl’s style is best suited to Beethoven and his recording of the complete piano sonatas was finished in 1996. He also plays Liszt, Schumann and major works of the Romantic repertoire. Chamber music recordings include trios by Beethoven for clarinet, cello and piano and works by Brahms. His recordings of the Piano Sonata in B minor and the ‘Dante’ Sonata by Liszt are impressive if not outstanding, Perl often being hampered by an inferior-sounding instrument. Perl seems to be an artist who is continuing to grow and develop, so perhaps recordings of these works made at a later date may be more persuasive. However, the recording of the ‘Dante’Sonata is superior to many others on disc, as Perl has the range of emotion and dynamic necessary for this type of descriptive work. His recording of Liszt’s Études d’exécution transcendante is rather cautious in tempo and manner and does not compete with such versions as those by Lazar Berman or Georges Cziffra. Busoni’s Fantasia nach J.S. Bach is part of an interesting disc of fantasies which also includes Schumann’s Fantasie Op. 17 and Liszt’s ‘Dante’ Sonata. In a disc of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16 and Karol Szymanowski’s Sinfonia concertante for piano and orchestra, (the Symphony No. 4 Op. 60), Perl is joined by the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria and Adrian Leaper. His recordings have appeared on the Oehms label and the Arte Nova Classics label. Perl’s most recent disc is of both Liszt piano concertos recorded with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Yakov Kreizberg, while a two-disc set of the best known of Beethoven’s piano sonatas is an excellent example of his work.