Maria-Joao Pires

Biography

Born: July 23, 1944  
Acclaimed as one of the greatest interpreters of Mozart, Portuguese pianist Maria-Joăo 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. This Read more 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-Joăo Pires, appeared in the early 2000s. Read less
Browse 26-50 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Chopin Masterworks, Vol. 1
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4687174 Release Date: 11/16/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky,  Elizabeth Leonskaya,  Gyorgy Sebok,  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Chopin Masterworks, Vol. 2
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4687147 Release Date: 11/16/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Cyprien Katsaris  ... 
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  • 28.
    111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341002 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hubert Giesen,  Helmut Walcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniele Callegari,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
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  • 29.
    Chopin / Maria-Joao Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001302202 Release Date: 06/23/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  Pavel Gomziakov
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  • 30.
    Mozart: Piano Sonatas 8, 11 & 14, Fantasy No 3, Etc / Pires
    Label: Dg 3d Classics   Catalog: 431275 Release Date: 03/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 31.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 21 & 26 / Pires, Abbado, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471738 Release Date: 09/23/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 32.
    Schumann: Waldszenen, Romances, Arabesque, Faschingsschwank aus Wien / Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437538 Release Date: 08/19/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 33.
    Adagios - Albinoni, Bach, Beethoven
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4695495 Release Date: 08/18/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alison Bury,  Monica Huggett,  Jos Konings,  Paul Dombrecht  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Jean-François Paillard,  Ton Koopman,  Michel Corboz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    40 Most Beautiful Love Themes - Vivaldi, Mozart, Debussy, Etc / Mehta, Ristenpart, Haitink, Scimone, Masur, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 511598 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Alessandro Marcello,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Cyprien Katsaris,  Alessio Bax,  Chloë Hanslip  ... 
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal,  Armin Jordan,  Paul Mann,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Basel Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    Mozart: The Great Concertos For Piano / Maria Joao Pires
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4696869 Release Date: 05/26/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Armin Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lisbon Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra,  Orchestre De Chambre De Lausanne,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op. 15; Waldszenen, Op. 82; Bunte Blatter, Op. 99
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4697087 Release Date: 02/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 37.
    Romantic Piano: Classical Music For Intimate Moments
    Label: Radiance Records   Catalog: 17681 Release Date: 01/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy,  Johannes Brahms,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Dalberto,  Michel Béroff,  Valery Afanassiev,  Yuji Takahashi  ... 
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
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  • 38.
    The Ultimate Most Relaxing Mozart For Strings
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17663 Release Date: 08/14/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow,  Maria-Joao Pires,  András Adorjan,  Paul Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Hager,  Hans Stadlmair,  David Zinman,  Rudolf Baumgartner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Quartet Berlin
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  • 39.
    Maria Joao Pires - With Passion
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000915702 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 40.
    Collectors Edition - Mozart: Piano Sonatas / Maria Joao Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000718602 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    On sale! $47.98
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  • 41.
    Bedtime Beats - The Secret To Sleep
    Label: Rhino Records   Catalog: 77617 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Erik Satie,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Nikolai Lugansky,  Jean-François Heisser  ... 
    Conductor:  Howard Griffiths,  Yutaka Sado,  Armin Jordan,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    Encore - Mozart: Lieder / Barbara Hendricks, Pires
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55685 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Göran Söllscher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos 14, 17, 21 / Pires, Abbado
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775747 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 44.
    The Mozart Collection - Limited Edition Box Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000552802 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Willard White,  Hans-Peter Blochwitz,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Sir Georg Solti,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $199.99
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  • 45.
    Schubert - Résonance De L'originaire / Pires, Castro
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000397602 Release Date: 03/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  Ricardo Castro
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  • 46.
    Artist Portrait - Maria-joao Pires
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 49141 Release Date: 03/16/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan,  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Michel Corboz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra,  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon
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  • 47.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos 20 & 27 / Pires, Jordan
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4607112 Release Date: 10/13/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre De Chambre De Lausanne
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  • 48.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos 13, 14, 23 / Pires, Guschlbauer
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4604482 Release Date: 08/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Theodor Guschlbauer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Foundation Chamber Orchestra Lisbon
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  • 49.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos 12 & 19, Rondo K 511 / Pires, Jordan
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4601612 Release Date: 06/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 50.
    Schumann: Kinderszenen, Waldszenen, etc / Maria-Joao Pires
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4603632 Release Date: 06/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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