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The renowned pianist Martha Argerich is celebrated for her stunning interpretations of the piano literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly that of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy and Ravel. She has perofmred as a soloists with many of the world's top conductors and leading orchestras.
Martha Argerich was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1941. She began playin gthe piano at the age of 3 and gave her début concert aged 8, performing a Mozart concerto. The family moved to Europe in 1955 and Argerich continued her piano studies in Austria. Aged 16, she won the Geneva International Music Competition and just three weeks later she won the Ferruccio Busoni International Competition.
Although she primarily captured the critics' attention as a concert soloist, she also garnered considerable importance as a chamber musician at a young age. Aged 17, she acompanied the violinist Joseph Szigeti, who was two generations older than Argerich. As a chamber musician she has toured with Gidon Kremer and Mischa Maisky and has performed at Gidon Kremer's festival as well as at the Lucerne Festival. She won a Grammy in 2005 for Best Chamber Music Performance for a recording of Prokofiev Cinderella Suite for four hands, together with the Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev.
Ever since her American début at the Lincoln Center's Great Performers series aged 24, she has had a prolific association with Deutsche Grammophon and has made countless recordings. Although she had made her first recording in 1960, she started to record widely from 1967 onwards.
Martha Argerich is committed to supporting young emerging artists. In September 1999 the first Martha Argerich Piano Competition took place in Buenos Aires, of which she is the president.
The cellist Mischa Maisky paid tribute to Argerich in gramophone magazine: "As far as I am concerned, Martha Argerich is not just one of the greatest pianists, or just ‘of our time’. She’s one of the greatest musicians – period. Of course, I’m not objective…but why should I be?"