Maria-Joao Pires

Biography

Born: July 23, 1944  
Acclaimed as one of the greatest interpreters of Mozart, Portuguese pianist Maria-João Pires is an artist who combines exquisite stylistic refinement with a serious effort to plumb the intellectual complexities and spiritual depths of music. Refusing to conform to the traditional image of a concert virtuoso, Pires emphasizes the spiritual dimensions of music, always searching for hidden meanings which may elude the analytical performer. Read more This remarkable reverence towards works of music, clearly manifested in her performances of Mozart, was made explicit by her remark that, as a performer, she acts as a channel for the composer's ideas. Interestingly, Pires views both the composer and the performer as conduits for a transcendent force. However, while approaching the work of music with immense awe, Pires is acutely aware of its formal structure, finding a certain transparency in the most intricate formal constructions. In her performances of Romantic masters, particularly Chopin and Schumann, Pires masterfully reconciles her passionate experience of the music with an admirable appreciation for the inner logic of the work she is interpreting. Reflecting her vast emotional range, her tone, as critics have observed, encompasses a dizzying variety of intensities, from an almost imperceptible lightness to an imposing monumentality, with a rich scale of intervening nuances. Another hallmark of her style is her uncanny ability to capture, and convey, the precise variety of inner movement which constitutes the being of a particular musical creation.

Pires started playing at the age of three, giving her first public performance two years later. Pires performed Mozart concertos when she was seven and received Portugal's major prize for musicians at nine. She studied with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoit at the Lisbon Conservatory, graduating at 16. Post-graduate studies took her to Germany, where she studied with Rösl Schmidt, in Munich, and with Karl Engel, in Hanover. In 1970, she won the Beethoven Bicentennial Competition in Brussels. Pires made her London debut in 1986, and she first played in New York three years later. She has performed with the major European and American orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Often praised for her extraordinary renditions of Mozart's works, Pires has shown a remarkable affinity with several of the greatest composers, including Bach, Chopin, and Schubert. An enormously successful recording artist, Pires, who since 1989 records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, released several critically acclaimed discs, including a Bach disc, recordings of Chopin's Nocturnes and Schubert's Impromptus, and a recording of two Mozart concertos with Claudio Abbado. Her recording of Mozart's complete sonatas received the 1990 Grand Prix du Disque. Since 1989, Pires has been an enthusiastic performer of chamber music, touring Europe and the Far East with violinist Augustin Dumay. Forming a trio with Dumay and cellist Jian Wang, Pires toured the Far East in 1998, playing Beethoven's Concerto for piano, violin, cello, and orchestra in several European centers in 1999. In 2000, Pires decided to take several months off in order to concentrate on a variety of educational projects in Portugal. Several collections of her performances, including Artist Portrait: Maria-João Pires, appeared in the early 2000s. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 76 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    50 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002596702 Release Date: 12/02/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Bedrich Smetana,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  David Garrett,  Hélčne Grimaud,  Max Richter,  Daniel Hope  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel,  Rafael Kubelik,  Herbert von Karajan,  André de Ridder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 2.
    Mozart: The Christmas Album
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002587002 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Bernhard Flies,  Leopold Mozart
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Arleen Augér,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Leonard Bernstein,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kurt Gaebel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  English Concert Choir,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Mozart: The Singles
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002576902 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Josef Triebensee,  André Rieu
    Performer:  Andras Schiff,  Barry Tuckwell,  Joshua Bell,  Erik Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  James Levine,  Sandor Végh,  Peter Maag  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble,  Amsterdam Mozart Players,  Vienna Mozart Ensemble  ... 
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  • 4.
    Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002549202 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 200
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  David Busch,  Amandine Beyer,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten,  Trevor Pinnock,  Christopher Hogwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 5.
    100 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556480 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 6.
    111: The Violin – Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002523902 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giya Kancheli,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  Hélčne Grimaud,  Giuliano Carmignola  ... 
    Conductor:  Heribert Esser,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Andrea Marcon,  Reinhard Goebel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Venice Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 7.
    50 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556482 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 8.
    Color Me Classical
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002528702 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Erik Satie,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Pascal Rogé,  Emma Johnson,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Music Lab Collective
    CD: $21.99
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  • 9.
    20 Most Beautiful Classical Pieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556102 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Zacharias,  David Fray,  Fabio Biondi,  Natalie Dessay  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  André Cluytens,  Riccardo Muti,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 10.
    40 Most Beautiful Classical Pieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556099 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Samson François,  Maria Tipo,  Martha Argerich,  Anne Queffélec  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  William Christie,  John E. Gardiner,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants,  Emmanuelle Haďm (Conductor/Harpsichord),  Le Concert D'Astrée  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 11.
    Complete Chamber Music Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon / Pires
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002500602 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Jian Wang,  Renaud Capuçon  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 12.
    Chopin: 14 Waltzes / Pires
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 555255 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    CD: $13.99
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  • 13.
    Schubert: The Edition, Vol. 1
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002447802 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Elena Kremer,  Emil Gilels,  Oleg Maisenberg,  Valery Afanassiev  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Eduard Melkus,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Melos String Quartet Stuttgart,  Amadeus Quartet  ... 
    On sale! $116.98
    CD: $99.99
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  • 14.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 15.
    Maria Joao Pires - A Film by Werner Zeindler 1991
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109164 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 16.
    Schubert: Impromptus, D.899; Piano Sonata No. 21 D.960
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 550566 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    CD: $11.99
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  • 17.
    111 - The Piano - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281002 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Géza Anda,  Martha Argerich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 18.
    Maria Joao Pires - Complete Concerto Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281502 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  Christine Schäfer
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Krivine,  André Previn,  Claudio Abbado,  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 19.
    Europakonzert 2003 / Boulez, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2053074 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $29.99
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  • 20.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 21.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony no 3, Hebrides; Schumann: Piano Concerto / Pires, Gardiner [SACD+Blu-ray]
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 765 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $21.99
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  • 22.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 3 & 4 / Pires, Harding
    Label: Onyx (Classical Label)   Catalog: 4125 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Maria Joao Pires - Complete DG Solo Recordings [20-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093102 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  Pavel Gomziakov,  Ricardo Castro
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    CD: $98.49
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  • 24.
    Maria Joao Pires - The Complete Erato Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 631065 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  Huseyin Sermet
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Armin Jordan,  Michel Corboz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Lisbon Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra,  Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $78.99
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  • 25.
    Bach Masterworks - The Original Jackets Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001929902 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Hertha Töpper,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Maria Stader,  Ernst Haefliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Richter,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Rainer Kussmaul,  Reinhard Goebel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra,  Munich Bach Choir,  English Baroque Soloists  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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