Martha Argerich performed at MIF13. For more details, please visit the event page by following the link in the left hand panel.
Martha Argerich was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and began piano lessons at the age of five with Vincenzo Scaramuzza. Considered a child prodigy, she soon started performing in public. In 1955, she moved to Europe and continued her studies in London, Vienna and Switzerland with Bruno Seidlhofer, Friedrich Gulda, Nikita Magaloff, Madeleine Lipatti and Stefan Askenase. In 1957, she won the Bolzano and Geneva Piano Competitions; then, in 1965, she won the Warsaw International Chopin Competition. Since then, she has been one of the most prominent pianists in the world, in terms of both popularity and ability.
Martha Argerich is rated highly for her performances of the virtuoso piano literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her large repertoire includes works by Bach, Bartók, Beethoven and Messiaen, as well as Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Prokofiev, Stravinsky,Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.
Though Argerich is continuously engaged by the most prestigious orchestras, conductors and music festivals in Europe, Japan and America, chamber music makes up a significant part of her musical life. She regularly plays and records with pianists Nelson Freire and Alexandre Rabinovitch, cellist Mischa Maisky and violinist Gidon Kremer, saying, ‘This harmony within a group of people gives me a strong and peaceful feeling.’
Martha Argerich has recorded for EMI, Sony, Philips, Teldec and Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft (DGG), and many of her performances have been broadcast on television worldwide. She has received many awards, including three Grammy Awards (one for her recordings of the Bartók and Prokofiev concertos, one for her recording of Prokofiev’s Cinderella with Mikhael Pletnev, and most recently a third for her recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos.2 & 3 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Claudio Abbado), Gramophone Awards for Artist of the Year and Best Piano Concerto Recording of the Year (for the Chopin concertos), the CHOC from the Monde de la Musique for her Amsterdam recital ‘Künstler des Jahres Deutscher Schallplatten Kritik, and the Sunday Times Record of the Year Award and a BBC Music Magazine Award for her Shostakovich recording on EMI.
Since 1998, she has been the Artistic Director of the Beppu Music Festival in Japan. In 1999, she created the International Piano Competition and Festival Martha Argerich in Buenos Aires; then, in June 2002, she created the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano.
Martha Argerich has received numerous distinctions, including Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (1996) and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2004) from the French Government, membership of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome (1997), Musician of the Year from Musical America (2001), the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette from the Japanese Emperor (2005), and the prestigious Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association (2005).