Pressler was born in Magdeburg, Germany, on December 16, 1923. A talented pianist in his teens, he was forced to flee Germany in 1938. His family settled in Israel, where Pressler received most of his advanced musical education.
In 1946 Pressler won the Debussy International Piano Competition in San Francisco. Shortly afterward he appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. Though his career as a piano soloist and recitalist was successful, Pressler became increasingly involved in chamber music and founded the Trio in 1955. The other original members were violinist Daniel Guilet and cellist Bernard Greenhouse. Their debut was at the 1955 Berkshire Music Festival. Guilet was replaced in 1969 by Isidore Cohen, and Greenhouse in 1987 by Peter Wiley. Several other changes came shortly afterward, with Ida Kavafian and Young Uck Kim holding relatively brief tenures. The group in 2007 -- violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Antonio Meneses, and Pressler -- has been in place since 2002. Along with teaching since 1955 at Indiana University (Jacobs School of Music), Pressler has regularly served as a jury member at the Queen Elizabeth and Van Cliburn Competitions. His recordings include a disc of cello sonatas by Fauré and Franck, with Shauna Rolston, on Summit Records.