Maria Joao Pires | Biography

Biography

Maria João Pires was born in Lisbon in 1944. She made her first public performance at the age of seven with Mozart’s Piano Concertos in Oporto, Portugal. At the age of nine she received Portugal’s highest award for young musicians just one year later. From 1953 until 1960 she stu¬died at the Lisbon Conservatory with Professor Campos Coelho and took courses in composition, theory, and history of music with Francine Benoit. She continued her studies in Germany, first at the Munich Music Academy with Rosl Schmid, then in Hanover with Karl Engel. Maria João Pires has appeared all over the globe with all the major orchestras including the Berliner Philhar¬moniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, and the Wiener Philharmoniker. She is also a keen performer of chamber music. In recent years she has been heard at all the major international festivals including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festi¬val, the Schubertiade, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Montpellier, Lucerne, Edinburgh and BBC Proms.
1970
Achieves international recognition upon winning first prize at the Brussels Beethoven International Competition commemorating the composer’s 200th birthday
1986
Highly acclaimed London debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall
1987
Appears in Hamburg, Paris and Amsterdam during the inaugural tour of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra with Claudio Abbado
1989
Signs exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Her first recordings are of Schubert’s Piano Sonata, 6 Moments musicaux, and Scherzos nos. 1 & 2, and Mozart’s Piano Sonatas K. 310, K. 333 and K. 545 (CD Compact, Barcelona and Grand Prix du Disque, 1990). Makes very successful New York debut. Beginning of an extensive collaboration with violinist Augustin Dumay with whom she has since appeared all over the world. Receives the Pessoa Prize for her services to the arts
1990
Debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival with Abbado and the Wiener Philharmoniker
1991
Release of Mozart’s Complete Piano Sonatas; first Deutsche Grammophon release of a recording by Pires and Dumay playing Mozart Violin Sonatas K. 301, 304, 378 and 379
1992
Visits Japan on an extended recital tour with Augustin Dumay; release of Brahms’s Violin Sonatas, with Augustin Dumay
1993
Release of Mozart’s Piano Concertos nos. 14 & 26 “Coronation” with the Wiener Phil¬harmoniker and Abbado, and of Grieg’s Violin Sonatas nos. 1 – 3, with Augustin Dumay
1994
Extended recital tour of Japan with Augustin Dumay. Releases: Schumann’s Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Waldszenen, Romanzen, Arabeske; Chopin’s Piano Concerto no. 2 and 24 Préludes op. 28 recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under André Prévin (Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin, Warsaw, 1995)
1995
Release of Bach’s Partita no. 1, French Suite no. 2 and English Suite no. 3 (Grand Prix du Disque, 1996); Mozart’s Piano Concertos nos. 17 & 21 with The Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Abbado; compositions by Schumann with oboist Douglas Boyd, and by Debussy, Franck and Ravel with Dumay
1996
Concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Salzburg and Lucerne. Release of Chopin’s Complete Nocturnes (Record Academy Prize, Tokyo, 1996; CD Compact, Barcelona, Grand Prix du Disque, 1997); first trio recording with Augustin Dumay and cellist Jian Wang of Brahms’s Piano Trios (Grand Prix du Disque, 1997)
1997
Release of Le Voyage magnifique – works by Schubert complemented by texts selected by Maria João Pires; Album of Mozart Piano Trios with Dumay and Jian Wang
1998
Tour of the Far East with Dumay and Jian Wang. Release of Chopin’s Piano Concerto no. 1 with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe led by Emmanuel Krivine
1999
Establishment in Portugal of Belgais, an inter-cultural centre
2000
Release of Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Piano Quintet with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Abbado
2001
Release of Moonlight, an album with solo works by Beethoven recorded in Belgais
2002
Tour of Japan. Completion and release of Beethoven’s Complete Violin Sonatas with Dumay (German Record Critics’ Prize, 2003). Receives IMC-Unesco-Music Prize 2002
2003
Concerts throughout Europe with renowned orchestras; tour of Britain with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Charles Mackerras; solo, duo and trio recitals throughout Europe with Ricardo Castro, Dumay, and Jian Wang
2004
Appearances with the Orchestre National de France, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra (Menuhin Festival, Gstaad), Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and Philharmonia Orchestra. Duo recitals with Castro throughout Europe, with Jian Wang in Paris, and Dumay in Luxemburg
2005
Tour of Spain with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Krivine; concerts with the Real Philharmonia de Galicia, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra; tour of Japan. Recitals throughout Europe and at festivals in Luxemburg and Italy. Release of Résonance de l’Originaire, a compilation of two Schubert solo sonatas and three pieces for four hands in which she is joined by Ricardo Castro
2006
Concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra and Haitink, the Gewandhaus¬orchester under Pinnock at the Mozart Festival, the Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid, the Philharmonia Orchestra in Zurich, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in Germany. Receives the Don Juan de Borbón da Música Prize in Segovia for “her qualities both as an artist and as a human being”. Disappointed by the lack of support for her Belgais project from the Portuguese authorities, she moves to San Salvador, Brazil
2007
Appearances at the Tivoli Festival in Copenhagen; performances with the Zurich Ton¬halle Orchestra and Dutoit, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Solo recitals in Spain and Vienna; duo recital in San Salvador with Dumay. Pires is awarded the Prémio Eduardo Lourenço by the Centro de Estudos Ibéricos for her contribution to the diffusion of musical culture
2008
Concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra under Gardiner, the English Concert, Concertgebouw Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker, all with Pinnock, and the London Chamber Orchestra. Concerts and recitals in South America; solo recitals throughout Europe. Audio release in Portugal of works by Chopin, including the Etude op. 25 no. 7, the Piano Sonata no. 3, and the Polonaise no. 7, op. 61, and the Cello Sonata op. 65 with Pavel Gomziakov
2009
Concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gardiner, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Haitink (Lucerne Festival), the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra under Mackerras, the London Philharmonic under Pinnock, and the Royal Concertgebouworkest under Fischer. European tour with the Basle Chamber Orchestra, and an extensive concert and recital tour of Japan. Recitals in Lisbon, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands in which she is joined by cellist Pavel Gomziakov. International release of the Chopin recording


3/2009