Maria-Joao Pires


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 58 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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  ... 
    CD: $116.49
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    50 Most Beautiful Classical Pieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553009 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Zacharias,  Nicolai Gedda,  Kerstin [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Meyer,  Gré Brouwenstijn  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  André Cluytens,  David Fray,  Fabio Biondi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Les Arts Florissants,  Concentus Musicus Wien
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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: $12.99
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    Pierre Boulez - Emotion & Analysis [10 DVDs]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2061008 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Claude Debussy,  Pierre Boulez,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Petra Lang,  Diana Damrau,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Elisabete Matos  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $98.99
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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
    CD: $98.49
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  • 15.
    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  ... 
    CD: $49.99
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
    CD: $249.99
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  • 18.
    The Wigmore Hall Recital / Pires, Meneses
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001893002 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  Antonio Meneses
    CD: $21.99
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  • 19.
    Chopin: Piano Masterpieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564651479 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Nikolai Lugansky,  Alexei Sultanov  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    CD: $16.99
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  • 20.
    Martha Argerich and Friends Live from Lugano 2012
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 211192 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Gautier Capuçon,  Sascha Maisky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 21.
    Chopin: Piano Concertos / Pires
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001819002 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Krivine,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $7.99
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  • 22.
    Beethoven Masterworks Collection  [51-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001813172 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Janet Perry,  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Carlos Kleiber,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $118.49
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  • 23.
    Schubert: Piano Sonatas, D. 845, D. 960 / Maria-Joăo Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001622502 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    CD: $21.99
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  • 24.
    Mozart: Piano Sonatas / Maria Joăo Pires
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1345 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    CD: $9.99
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  • 25.
    Mozart 111 [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001766872 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Emil Gilels,  Elena Gilels,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  James Levine,  Herbert von Karajan,  Marc Minkowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $164.49
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