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Martha Argerich
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Martha Argerich Born in Buenos Aires on 5th June 1941. She made her first pubic appearance at the tender age of four - after only one year of tuition. However her official debut did not take place \'until\' 1949 - when Martha appeared in concert with an orchestra winning critical acclaim for the first, in a long line of successful performances. In Argentina she studied with Vincenze Scaramuzzo, who was quick to appreciate the child\'s extraordinary talent. In Buenos Aires she performed for distinguished visiting pianists - Rubinstein, Gieseking, and Arrau...earning their admiration and esteem. On the instigation of President Juan Peron, who wanted to secure the very best artistic environment for the \'child prodigy\', the whole family was sent to Vienna as part of a diplomatic mission. In Vienna Martha studied with among others, Friedrich Guld, Stefan Ashkenazy, Nikita Magaloff and Artur Benedetti-Michelangeli. In 1957, aged only sixteen, Argerich had two sensational successes, winning the prestigious Busoni Competition in Bolzano as well as the International Piano Competition in Geneva. The entire musical establishment was captivated and fascinated with the young pianist\'s talent - her career was assured. But Martha who had barely reached adulthood, had doubts - she despised public showmanship and was apprehensive about the restrictions placed on her by her parents. At twenty - she gave up performing...for a period of four years. In 1964, persuaded by Stefan Ashkenazy and her mother, she participated in the Piano Competition in Brussels, that same year making her London debut. 1965 brought her spectacular success at the VII Chopin Competition where she won the Top Prize and Polish Radio\'s Special Award for the best performance of mazurkas and waltzes. Her victory was both indisputable and astounding - at the time it was difficult to imagine how the aesthetics of this intrinsically Polish music could be appreciated by an Argentinean. Yet none could resist her interpretations - performed with incredible lightness, bursting with charm and a genuinely Romantic passion. It soon became apparent that her performances of other composer\'s works were just as thrilling as her interpretations of Chopin - Her recordings of Prokofiev (Concertos), Liszt (Concerto-E flat major), Ravel (Concerto G major, Gaspard de la nuit), Scarlatti, Beethoven (Sonatas with Gidon Kremer), Bach (Sonatas with Misha Maisky) and Schubert (the phenomenal Sonata Arpeggione with Mstislav Rostropovich) are some of the most fascinating ever made. Argerich is also a superb interpreter of Rachmaninov, Mendelsshon, Haydn and Mozart and performs both as a soloist and chamber player. Her artistry is unerringly recognisable within the first few bars on any given piece - due, above all, to her energy. She has been compared to a shaman - not only on account of her type of beauty. Her every appearance on stage is accompanied by a flutter of excitement. She can be unpredictable, changeable and irrational yet always remains constant to her artistic intuition. It almost appears that she acts on impulse - as she did during the memorable inaugural concert of the Chopin Competition in 1980. As a result, her interpretation of Tchaikovsky\'s Concerto has already gone down in history. Marta Argerich did not revisit Poland until 1992, on which occasion she gave four concert performances that featured the works of Messiaen, Brahms, Schubert, Saint-Saens, Mozart (works for two pianos and four hands with her husband Alexandre Rabinovitch), Haydn and of course, Chopin. In 1999 she returned to Poland once more, to perform Liszt\'s Concerto in E flat major and Chopin\'s Concerto in F minor. As in the past, it was a prodigious artistic event and a meeting with a phenomenal talent - which remains one of a kind.

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