*5 VI 1941 Buenos Aires
Martha Argerich – winner of First Prize in the 7th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1965).
Born in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Martha Argerich began learning piano at the age of five with Vincenzo Scaramuzza. A child prodigy, she soon was giving public performances, before moving to Europe in 1955 to continue her education in London, Vienna and Switzerland, with Friedrich Gulda, Nikita Magaloff, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Stefan Askenase.
In 1957, she won the piano competitions in Bolzano and Geneva, and in 1965 the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Ever since, she has been regarded as one of the world’s finest pianists. She is particularly highly regarded for her interpretations of the virtuoso piano literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Her broad repertoire notably includes works by Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Messiaen, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. Argerich works continually with the most outstanding orchestras, conductors and festivals in the world. Chamber music also plays an important part in her artistic activities. She regularly performs and records with pianists Nelson Freire and Alexandre Rabinovitch, cellist Mischa Maisky and violinist Gidon Kremer.
She has made numerous recordings for EMI, Sony, Philips, Teldec and Deutsche Grammophon, winning three Grammies for the concertos of Beethoven (with Claudio Abbado, 2006), Bartók and Prokofiev, and Prokofiev’s Cinderella for two pianos (with Mikhail Pletnev, 2005), Gramophone Artist of the Year, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Sunday Times Record of the Year and BBC Music Magazine Award for her Shostakovich album on EMI (2007), among others.
Since 1998, she has been Artistic Director of the Beppu Festival, Japan. In 1999, she created the International Piano Competition and the Martha Argerich Festival in Buenos Aires, followed by the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, in 2002.
Her many awards and distinctions include Officer (1996) and Commander (2004) of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia Award (1997), the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Rosette from the Emperor of Japan and the prestigious Praemium Imperiale of the Japanese Arts Association (2005).
She performed in the ‘Chopin and his Europe’ festival in 2006 and each year from 2009 to 2013. A DVD featuring a performance of Juliusz Zarębski’s Quintet in G minor during the festival in 2011, in which Argerich was joined by Bartłomiej Nizioł, Agata Szymczewska, Lyda Chen and Alexander Neustroev, was released in 2012.