Acclaimed worldwide as a living legend of the piano and renowned for her extraordinary technique and interpretive abilities, Martha Argerich reappeared in recital for the first time2000. Earlier in the 1999-00 season, she received the Grammy Award as "Bes in 19 years in a benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall in Spring t Instrumental Soloist" for her recording of the Prokofiev Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 and the Bartok Piano Concerto No. 3, which she recorded with the Montreal Symphony conducted by Charles Dutoit. She was selected as the Musician of the Year 2000 by Musical America. Ms. Argerich won a Grammy Award in the “Best Chamber Music Performance” category in February 2005 for her latest recording with Mikhail Pletnev on Deutsche Grammophon. In February 2006, Ms. Argerich won her third Grammy award in the “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (With Orchestra)” for her recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 with Maestro Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

Martha Argerich inaugurated her "Perspectives" series at Carnegie Hall in the 2001-02 season. This series included, among other performances, appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, a chamber music concert with Gidon Kremer and Mischa Maisky, and a recital with Mischa Maisky both at Carnegie Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. In 2000-01, Martha Argerich appeared with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Charles Dutoit and toured Europe with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Tilson Thomas. She appeared with, among other orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris, with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Christoph Eschenbach and Emmanuel Krivine. Introducing young musicians to audiences is essential to Martha Argerich; among other projects, she frequently performs with various young talents in a special concert in Brussels.

In the 2004–05 season, Martha Argerich toured North America (Quebec, San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York City) in a duo-recital with Brazilian born pianist, Nelson Freire.

Martha Argerich, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, began her piano studies at the age of five with Vicenzo Scaramuzza. Three years later, she gave her first professional performance in Buenos Aires. She later moved to Europe to continue her studies with, among others, Stefan Askenaze, Friedrich Gulda, Nikita Magaloff, Madame Dinu Lipatti, and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. At age 16, Martha Argerich stunned the music world when, in the space of three weeks, she won both the Geneva International Competition and the Ferruccio Busoni International Competition in Bolzano. In 1965 she returned from a self-imposed retreat to become the first artist from the western hemisphere to win first prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. This spectacular success led to her United States debut in 1966 on Lincoln Center's Great Performers series.

Since then, Martha Argerich has performed as a concert pianist with the world's leading orchestras and conductors. Specifically in North America, she has performed with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, National Symphony and Toronto Symphony.

Ms. Argerich also attaches great importance to chamber music. At the age of 17, she accompanied violinist Joseph Szigeti, and since that time her principal partners over the years have been Nelson Freire, Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich, Mischa Maisky and Gidon Kremer.

In 1998 Ms. Argerich became the Artistic Director of the Beppu Festival in Japan. 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.

Ms. Agerich’s numerous awards, honours and distinctions include, from the government of France, Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (1996) and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2004); from Rome, Accademica di Santa Cecilia (1997) and, from Japan, Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, presented by the Emperor, and the prestigious Praemium Imperiale  from the Japan Art Association (2005). Ms. Argerich was also named “Musician of the Year” by Musical America (2001).

Martha Argerich's collaborations with Gidon Kremer have resulted in a rich variety of recordings recognized and honored by several prestigious awards. One of the most notable projects is a recording of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas (Nos. 1-3 won the 1985 Record Academy Prize), which they brought to a close with the release of the Kreutzer Op. 47 and Op. 96 in September 1995. She has also recorded much of the literature for four hands and two pianos with Nelson Freire, Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich, Nicolas Economou and Alexandre Rabinovitch.

Ms. Argerich's discography, which includes more than a dozen Deutsche Grammophon recordings, encompasses works by Bach, Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, de Falla, Franck, Haydn, Liszt, Lutoslawski, Paganini, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Schubert, Schumann and Tchaikovsky. She has recorded Chopin and Schumann duos for piano and cello with Mstislav Rostropovich as well as Schumann sonatas for violin and piano with Gidon Kremer; a Schumann collection featuring Kreisleriana and Kinderscenen and Bach cello sonatas with Mischa Maisky, and the Ravel Piano Concerto in G with Claudio Abbado and the London Symphony. Another brilliant collaboration is a recording of Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 with Giuseppi Sinopoli and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Ms. Argerich has also recorded on the EMI, RCA, CBS, Philips, Sony and Teldec labels.

-CAMI, Columbia Artists Management Inc.
This biography was most recently edited by...
steven - 5 Jun 2010