Born in Buenos Aires in 1941, Martha Argerich, who made her concert debut at the age of eight, came to Europe in 1955 to study with Friedrich Gulda in Vienna. In 1957 she won the Busoni Competition in Bolzano and the Geneva Piano Competition. She nevertheless continued her studies and worked with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Stefan Askenase before launching her international career in 1965, when she took first prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Since then Argerich has been considered one of the finest pianists of the present day; she has appeared with the leading conductors and orchestras, performing a repertoire that ranges from Bach to Bartók. Over the last two decades, chamber music has been a major part of her artistic activity. Among her preferred musical partners are the violinist Gidon Kremer, the cellist Mischa Maisky, and the pianists Nelson Freire, Alexandre Rabinovitch, and Lilya Zilberstein, with whom she plays as a duo. From 2002 to 2016, she led her own festival in Lugano, where she performed with renowned colleagues as well as young artists; similar projects were presented in Hamburg in 2018 and 2019. Argerich's recordings have received numerous awards. She has garnered the coveted Grammy Award three times: in 1999 for her recording of concertos by Prokofiev and Bartók, in 2005 for a duo CD with Mikhail Pletnev, and in 2006 for her account of Beethoven concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Claudio Abbado. In 2014 she won the Echo Klassik Award for her interpretation of Mozart concertos, which was also conducted by Abbado. The documentary Argerich, which her daughter Stephanie introduced in 2013, presents a film portrait of the pianist. Martha Argerich was honored for her life’s work with the Praemium Imperiale in the fall of 2005.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 20 August 1969 as the soloist in Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto under Charles Dutoit.