Martha Argerich

Debut at Luzerner Sinfonieorchester on JAN 9th 2008

The Star-Pianist

Born in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Martha Argerich began her first piano lessons at the age of five with Vincenzo Scaramuzza. Considered a child prodigy, it was not long before she was performing regular concerts and recitals. In 1955, she moved to Europe and continued her studies in London, Vienna, and Switzerland with Bruno Seidlhofer, Friedrich Gulda, Nikita Magaloff, Dinu Lipatti, and Stefan Askenase. In 1957 she won both the Bolzano and Geneva Piano Competitions, and in 1965 followed suit with the Warsaw International Chopin Competition. Since then, she has been considered one of the most prominent pianists in the world, both in ability and popularity.

Despite the fact that her character has often lead her towards the virtuosic masterworks of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Martha maintains an extensive repertoire, including but by no means limited to the works of Bach, Bartok, Beethoven, and Messiaen, as well as Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky.

Regularly invited by the most prestigious orchestras, conductors and music festivals in Europe, Japan, America, and Israel (with Zubin Mehta and Lahav Shani), chamber music remains a significant part of her musical life. She regularly plays and records with Mischa Maisky, Alexandre Rabinovitch, Gidon Kremer, and Daniel Barenboim, of which she has said : « This harmony within a group of people gives me a strong and peaceful feeling ». She performed and recorded with Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire for more than 50 years.

Martha Argerich has recorded for EMI, Sony, Philips, Teldec, and DGG, with many of her performances broadcast on television worldwide. She has also been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including a Grammy for her recording of the Bartok and Prokofiev Concertos, “Gramophon – Artist of the Year” and “Best Piano Concerto Recording of the Year” for her recording of the Chopin concertos, “Choc” of the Monde de la Musique, “Künstler des Jahres Deutscher Schallplatten Kritik”, as well as further Grammy awards for her recording of Prokofiev’s Cinderella with Mikhael Pletnev, and of Beethoven’s Second and Third Concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Claudio Abbado (DGG / Best Instrumental Soloist Performance).

With the intention of helping young musicians, Martha became Artistic Director of the Beppu Festival in Japan in 1998. in 1999 she created the International Piano Competition and Festival Martha Argerich in Buenos Aires and, in June 2002, the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano. In 2018, she launched the Martha Argerich Festival in Hamburg.

Martha Argerich has been awarded numerous distinctions, amongst them :

– “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” in 1996 and “Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres ” in 2004 by the French Government, — “Accademica di Santa Cecilia” in Rome in 1997, — “Musician of the Year” by Musical America 2001 – “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette“ by the Emperor of Japan —“Praemium Imperiale“ awarded by the Japan Art Association in 2005. – “Kennedy Center Honors“ awarded by Barack Obama in December 2016 – “Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana“, awarded by Sergio Mattarella in October 2018.

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