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This page is dedicated to one of the Greatest Pianists on earth: Maria Joćo Pires.


Maria Joćo Pires, born in Portugal, began playing the piano at the age of three and gave her first public performance at the age of five. At sixteen she graduated from the Lisbon Conservatory, having studied Piano, Composition, Harmony and Theory with Prof. Campos Coelho and Francine Benoit. A Gulbenkian scholarship enabled her to study with Rosl Schmidt at the Musikakademie and with Karl Engel in Hannover.

Pires won the Beethoven Bicentennial Competition in Brussels in 1970 and made her debut in London in 1986 and New York in 1989. In 1987 she was soloist with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and Claudio Abbado on their inaugural tour to Hamburg, Paris and Amsterdam. She is now a regular visitor to all the major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Paris.

In addition to pursuing her career as a soloist, Maria Joćo Pires is an avid performer of chamber music. Since 1989 she has worked primarily with the French violinist Augustin Dumay and it was with him that she made her London debut. The two artists have also appeared together throughout Europe, and have visited Japan giving recitals during an extended tour in autumn 1992 and summer 1994, and together with the cellist Jian Wang (a perfect addition to form a trio), they toured in the Far East during autumn 1998.


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Pires exclusively records for Deutsche Grammophon and recent releases for the label include a coupling of Mozart concertos (k.453 & 467) with Claudio Abbado and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, a solo Bach disc, the complete Chopin Nocturnes and recently Schubert Impromptu's. The Bach and Chopin discs have received Grande Prix International du Disque awards from the Academie Charles Cros in 1996 and 1997 respectively. A recording of Brahms Piano trios was also released in 1996, winning a 1997 Grand Prix International du Disque award "in honorem". Her most recent release is a recording of Chopin: Piano Concerto no. 1 with Emmanuel Krivine and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

The 1998 / 1999 season included appearances with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra (both with Bernard Haitink), and the Minnesota Orchestra. These were alongside her extensive solo and chamber music recitals throughout Europe, the USA and Japan. The 1999 / 2000 season started with concerts with the Philharmonia and performances of the Beethoven: Triple Concerto (with Augustin Dumay and Jian Wang) in Lyon, Strasbourg and Monte Carlo. However, for most of the current season, Ms Pires will not be performing and has taken a Sabbatical. In this time, she will be developing educational projects that will be based at her farm in Portugal. These courses will aim to develop an understanding of the Arts and Music in Culture. She will return to a full concert schedule in the autumn of 2000.


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