No pianist can play everything well, but with her ability to bring magic to Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Bach, Schubert, Chopin and Schubert the amazing Maria João Pires is simply non-pareil. She has retired more often than Frank Sinatra and one of her last performances was at Perth Concert Hall with the SCO and Robin Ticciati, but sadly I think she may finally have given up the platform,. I first got to know here when she started performing with the SCO in 1986(!) I well remember driving up to Thurso with this tiny little figure curled up asleep on the back seat of my VW Golf. Her playing belies her size, she is strong, decisive and muscular when required. Her sense of style is unerring. She was Claudio Abbado's pianist of preference for most repertoire and they made many wonderful recordings together - try the Schumann with the Berlin Philharmonic or the Mozart with Abbado's Orchestra Mozart. In the latter part of here career teachng became her great joy, doing shared recitals with her favourite pupils. Also she once toured European Concert Halls with a motor home which was big enough for a garage and a Fiat Panda! But just listen to the playing. Unbelievable!
Maria Joao Pires plays the wrong concerto - click here
Maria Joao Pires plays Schubert's last sonata - click here
Maria Joao Pires plays Chopin's 2nd concerto - click here
Maria Joao Pires documentary click here