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Martha Argerich

Martha Argerich

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Martha Argerich is an Argentine
Argentine people
Argentines are the citizens of Argentina, or their descendants abroad. Argentina is a multiethnic society, which means that it is home to people of many different ethnic backgrounds. According to the , Argentina had a population of 36,260,130 inhabitants, of which 1,527,320, or 4.2%, were born...

 pianist
Pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

.

Early life


Argerich was born in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 and started playing the piano at age three (the provenance of the name Argerich is uncertain: some say it is Catalan, while others maintain it originates from Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

). At the age of five, she moved to teacher Vincenzo Scaramuzza
Vincenzo Scaramuzza
Vincenzo Scaramuzza -in spanish: Vicente Scaramuzza- was an Italian Argentine pianist and music teacher.Scaramuzza was born in Crotone, Italy, on June 19, 1885. Introduced to the piano by his father, Francesco, he was a concert performer by age seven, and enrolled in the prestigious San Pietro a...

 who stressed to her the importance of lyricism and feeling. Argerich gave her debut concert in 1949 at the age of eight.
The family moved to Europe in 1955 where Argerich studied with Friedrich Gulda
Friedrich Gulda
Friedrich Gulda was an Austrian pianist and composer who worked in both the classical and jazz fields.Born in Vienna as the son of a teacher, Gulda began learning to play the piano from Felix Pazofsky at the Wiener Volkskonservatorium, aged 7...

 in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. Juan Perón
Juan Perón
Juan Domingo Perón was an Argentine military officer, and politician. Perón was three times elected as President of Argentina though he only managed to serve one full term, after serving in several government positions, including the Secretary of Labor and the Vice Presidency...

, then the president of Argentina, made their decision possible by appointing her parents to diplomatic
Foreign relations of Argentina
This article deals with the diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and international relations of Argentina.At the political level, these matters are officially handled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, also known as the Cancillería, which answers to the President...

 posts in the Argentine Embassy in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

. She later studied with Stefan Askenase
Stefan Askenase
Stefan Askenase was a Polish-born Belgian classical pianist and pedagogue.-Biography:Askenase was born in Lemberg. He studied with Theodor Pollak, a professor and director of the Ludwik Marek School of Music in Lemberg. Then with Emil von Sauer, a pupil of Liszt, at the Vienna Academy of Music...

 and Maria Curcio
Maria Curcio
Maria Curcio was an Italian classical pianist who became renowned as a greatly influential and sought-after teacher. Her students included Martha Argerich, Radu Lupu, Dame Mitsuko Uchida, Leon Fleisher and Geoffrey Tozer...

. Argerich also seized opportunities for brief periods of coaching with Madeleine Lipatti (widow of Dinu Lipatti
Dinu Lipatti
Dinu Lipatti was a Romanian classical pianist and composer whose career was cut short by his death from Hodgkin's disease at age 33. He was elected posthumously to the Romanian Academy.-Biography:...

), Abbey Simon
Abbey Simon
-Education:Simon began lessons with David Saperton at the age of five. At the age of eight, Simon was accepted by Józef Hofmann as a scholarship student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he trained with fellow classmates Jorge Bolet and Sidney Foster. Simon also took lessons...

, and Nikita Magaloff
Nikita Magaloff
Nikita Magaloff was a Georgian-Russian pianist.He was born in Saint Petersburg to a Georgian noble family named Maghalashvili. Magaloff and his family left Russia in 1918 for Finland and then Paris, where he studied with Isidor Philipp, chair of the piano department at the Paris Conservatory...

 . In 1957, at sixteen, she won both the Geneva International Music Competition
Geneva International Music Competition
The Geneva International Music Competition is a music competitions held in Geneva, founded in 1939 in the Geneva Conservatory for a wide variety of instruments, voice, conducting, and chamber music.-See also:* List of classical music competitions* World Federation of International Music...

 and the Ferruccio Busoni International Competition
Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition
The Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition is a music competition for young pianists that takes place in Bolzano, Italy.-History: The first Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition was organized by Cesare Nordio in 1949 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the death of pianist and...

, within three weeks of each other. It was at the latter that she met Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli was a virtuoso Italian classical pianist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, as well as one of the most important Italian pianists along with Ferruccio Busoni and Maurizio Pollini.-Biography:Born in Brescia, Italy, he began...

 whom she would later seek out for lessons during a personal artistic crisis at the age of twenty, though she only had four lessons with him in a year and a half. Her greatest influence was Gulda, with whom she studied for 18 months.

Professional career


Argerich rose to international prominence when she won the seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 in 1965, at age 24. In 1966, she debuted in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in the Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series. In the same year, she also made her first recording, including works by Chopin
Frédéric Chopin
Frédéric François Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. He is considered one of the great masters of Romantic music and has been called "the poet of the piano"....

, Brahms
Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene...

, Ravel
Maurice Ravel
Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects...

, Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

, and Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

, which received critical acclaim. In 1965, she recorded Chopin's Scherzo No. 3
Scherzo No. 3 (Chopin)
The Scherzo No. 3 by Frédéric Chopin begins in the key of C-sharp minor, then moves to D-flat major, and returns to C-sharp minor, concluding in C-sharp major. It was completed in 1839. The composition opens with an almost Lisztian introduction, leading to a subject in octaves of pent-up energy...

, Polonaise, Op. 53, and other short works in the later years.

Argerich has often remarked in interviews of feeling "lonely" on stage during solo performances. Since the 1980s, she has staged few solo performances, instead focusing on concertos
Piano concerto
A piano concerto is a concerto written for piano and orchestra.See also harpsichord concerto; some of these works are occasionally played on piano...

 and, in particular, chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

, and accompanying instrumentalists in sonatas. She is noted especially for her recordings of 20th century
20th century classical music
20th century classical music was without a dominant style and highly diverse.-Introduction:At the turn of the century, music was characteristically late Romantic in style. Composers such as Gustav Mahler and Jean Sibelius were pushing the bounds of Post-Romantic Symphonic writing...

 works by composers such as Rachmaninoff
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music...

, Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex ; harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations...

 and Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

. One notable compilation pairs Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3
Piano Concerto No. 3 (Rachmaninoff)
The Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30, composed in 1909 by Sergei Rachmaninoff is famous for its technical and musical demands on the performer...

 (recorded in December 1982 with the Radio Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin is an orchestra based in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1946 by American occupation forces as the RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester . It was also known as the American Sector Symphony Orchestra...

 under direction of Riccardo Chailly
Riccardo Chailly
Riccardo Chailly, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI is an Italian conductor. He started his career as an opera conductor and gradually extended his repertoire to encompass symphonic music.-Biography:...

) with Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский ; often "Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky" in English. His names are also transliterated "Piotr" or "Petr"; "Ilitsch", "Il'ich" or "Illyich"; and "Tschaikowski", "Tschaikowsky", "Chajkovskij"...

's Piano Concerto No. 1
Piano Concerto No. 1 (Tchaikovsky)
The Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between November 1874 and February 1875. It was revised in the summer of 1879 and again in December 1888. The first version received heavy criticism from Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky's desired pianist....

 (February 1980, Symphonie Orchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, in German Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks is the internationally renowned orchestra of the Bayerischer Rundfunk , based in Munich, Germany. It is one of the three principal orchestras in the city of Munich, along with the Munich Philharmonic...

, Kirill Kondrashin).

Argerich is also famous for her interpretation of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3
Piano Concerto No. 3 (Prokofiev)
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 is the best-known concerto by Sergei Prokofiev. It was completed in 1921 using sketches first started in 1913.-Composition and performances:...

, Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, and Bach's Partita No. 2 in C minor, which she has recorded several times and continues to perform.

Argerich has also promoted younger pianists, both through her annual festival and through her frequent appearances as a member of the jury at important competitions. The pianist Ivo Pogorelić
Ivo Pogorelic
Ivo Pogorelić is a Croatian pianist.-Early life:He was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, now Serbia, to a Croatian father and a Serbian mother...

 was thrust into the musical spotlight partly as a result of Argerich's actions: after he was eliminated in the third round of the 1980 International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Argerich proclaimed him a "genius" and left the jury in protest. She has supported several artists including Gabriela Montero
Gabriela Montero
Gabriela Montero is a Venezuelan-American pianist.Born in Caracas, Venezuela, of an American-born mother and a Venezuelan father, Gabriela Montero was barely a seven-month-old infant when her parents, at the insistence of her maternal grandmother, placed a toy piano in her playpen. It had been...

, Gabriele Baldocci
Gabriele Baldocci
Gabriele Baldocci is an italian pianist.Baldocci is known worldwide since he is performing with the legendary argentinean pianist Martha Argerich...

 and Sergio Tiempo
Sergio Tiempo
Sergio Daniel Tiempo is a Venezuelan-Argentine classical pianist. He has studied under some of the best known pianists....

.

Argerich is president of the International Piano Academy Lake Como
International Piano Academy Lake Como
The International Piano Academy Lake Como is a music school. Seven pianists, chosen annually from a worldwide field of 400 applicants including many international prizewinners, have the opportunity of studying with a faculty whose core membership past and present includes such stellar artists as...

 and performs each year at the Lugano Festival, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. She also created and has been General Director of the Argerich Music Festival and Encounter in Beppu, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, since 1996.

Her aversion to the press and publicity has resulted in her remaining out of the limelight for most of her career. Nevertheless she is widely recognized as one of the greatest pianists of her time.

Personal life


Argerich has been married three times. Her first marriage was to composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

-conductor
Conducting
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble...

 Robert Chen, with whom she had a daughter, Lyda Chen, who is a violist. From 1969 to 1973, Argerich was married to conductor Charles Dutoit
Charles Dutoit
Charles Édouard Dutoit, is a Swiss conductor, particularly noted for his interpretations of French and Russian 20th century music...

, with whom she had a daughter, Anna. Argerich continues to record and perform with Dutoit. Her third husband was pianist Stephen Kovacevich
Stephen Kovacevich
Stephen Kovacevich , who has also been known as Stephen Bishop and Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich is an American classical pianist and conductor.-Biography:...

, with whom she had a daughter, Stephanie.

In 1990, Argerich was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. After treatment, the cancer went into remission, but there was a reoccurrence in 1995, eventually metastasizing
Metastasis
Metastasis, or metastatic disease , is the spread of a disease from one organ or part to another non-adjacent organ or part. It was previously thought that only malignant tumor cells and infections have the capacity to metastasize; however, this is being reconsidered due to new research...

 to her lungs and lymph nodes. Following aggressive treatment at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which included the removal of part of her lung and use of an experimental vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

, Argerich's cancer went into remission again. In gratitude, Argerich performed a Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park....

 recital benefiting the Institute. As of 2011, Argerich remains cancer-free.

Awards

  • The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette 2005 Japan
  • Praemium Imperiale
    Praemium Imperiale
    The Praemium Imperiale is an arts prize awarded since 1989 by the imperial family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association in the fields painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theatre/film...

     2005 Japan
  • Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)
    Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)
    The Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance was awarded from 1959 to 2011. From 1967 to 1971 and in 1987 the award was combined with the award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance and awarded as the Grammy Award for Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist or...

    :
    • Claudio Abbado
      Claudio Abbado
      Claudio Abbado, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI , is an Italian conductor. He has served as music director of the La Scala opera house in Milan, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Vienna State Opera,...

       (conductor), Martha Argerich and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra
      Mahler Chamber Orchestra
      The Mahler Chamber Orchestra is a professional touring chamber orchestra founded by Claudio Abbado and former members of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in 1997....

       for Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 (2006)
  • Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance
    Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance
    The Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance has been awarded since 1959. The award has had several minor name changes:*From 1959 to 1960 the award was known as Best Classical Performance - Chamber Music ...

    :
    • Martha Argerich and Mikhail Pletnev
      Mikhail Pletnev
      Mikhail Vasilievich Pletnev is a Russian pianist, conductor, and composer.-Life and career:Pletnev was born into a very musical family in Arkhangelsk, then part of the Soviet Union; his father played and taught the bayan, and his mother the piano...

       for Prokofiev
      Sergei Prokofiev
      Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

       (Arr. Pletnev): Cinderella Suite for Two Pianos/Ravel
      Maurice Ravel
      Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects...

      : Ma Mere L'Oye
      (2005)
  • Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)
    Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)
    The Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance was awarded from 1959 to 2011. From 1967 to 1971 and in 1987 the award was combined with the award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance and awarded as the Grammy Award for Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist or...

    • Charles Dutoit
      Charles Dutoit
      Charles Édouard Dutoit, is a Swiss conductor, particularly noted for his interpretations of French and Russian 20th century music...

       (conductor), Martha Argerich and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra
      Montreal Symphony Orchestra
      Orchestre symphonique de Montréal is a symphony orchestra based in Montréal, Québec, Canada, with Montréal's Place des Arts as its home.-History:...

       for Prokofiev
      Sergei Prokofiev
      Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

      : Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3/Bartók
      Béla Bartók
      Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer...

      : Piano Concerto No. 3
      (2000)
  • Claudio Arrau Memorial Medal
    Arrau Medal
    The Arrau Medal was established by the Robert Schumann Society to memorialize its first honorary member, Claudio Arrau, who died in 1991. The medal is awarded to a pianist who is especially committed to the spirit and tradition of Claudio Arrau's keyboard artistry.The first recipient to be so...

     (1997)
  • International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition: 1st prize (1965)
  • Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition
    Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition
    The Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition is a music competition for young pianists that takes place in Bolzano, Italy.-History: The first Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition was organized by Cesare Nordio in 1949 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the death of pianist and...

    : 1st prize (1957)
  • Geneva International Music Competition
    Geneva International Music Competition
    The Geneva International Music Competition is a music competitions held in Geneva, founded in 1939 in the Geneva Conservatory for a wide variety of instruments, voice, conducting, and chamber music.-See also:* List of classical music competitions* World Federation of International Music...

    : 1st prize (1957)

See also


  • Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Martha Argerich
    Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Martha Argerich
    Great Pianists of the 20th Century – Martha Argerich is the second volume of the Great Pianists of the 20th Century box set and is the first of two volumes dedicated to her. The album features music by the composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Liszt, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and...

  • Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Martha Argerich II
    Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Martha Argerich II
    Great Pianists of the 20th Century – Martha Argerich II is the third volume of the Great Pianists of the 20th Century box set and is the second of two volumes dedicated to her. The album features music by the composers Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Robert Schumann.-Frédéric Chopin:*Prelude in C...

  • List of Argentines

External links