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
Maria Joao Pires - A Film by Werner Zeindler 1991
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 109164   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphony no 3, Hebrides; Schumann: Piano Concerto / Pires, Gardiner [SACD+Blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 765   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 26-50 of 64 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    Brahms: Complete Chamber Music [11-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001725902 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Christian Ferras,  Pierre Barbizet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet,  Hagen String Quartet,  Amadeus Quartet
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  • 29.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 27 & 20 / Pires, Abbado, Orchestra Mozart
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001726002 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Mozart
    CD: $21.99
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  • 30.
    The Debussy Edition [18-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001676372 Release Date: 05/01/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Franklin Cohen,  Jean-Rodolphe Kars,  Vera Badings,  Krystian Zimerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Bernard Haitink,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    Mozart: Piano Sonatas Nos. 15-18
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1382 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 32.
    Schumann Gold
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001423002 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Nelson Freire,  Malcolm Martineau,  Bryn Terfel,  Paul Gulda  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Herbert von Karajan,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Hagen String Quartet,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    Chopin Gold
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001397602 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Martha Argerich,  Friedrich Gulda,  Rafal Blechacz  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 34.
    Chopin Complete Edition [17-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001382602 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Claudio Arrau,  Anatol Ugorski,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Krystian Zimerman,  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Festival Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio
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    CD: $78.99
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  • 35.
    State Of The Art - The Story Of Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341102 Release Date: 12/15/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Rafal Blechacz,  Kathleen Battle,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Andalucian Dogs
    CD: $108.49
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 41.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 42.
    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
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  • 43.
    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  ... 
    CD: $15.99
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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    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: $9.99
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  • 46.
    Grieg: Violin Sonatas / Augustin Dumay, Maria Joao Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437525 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 47.
    Beethoven: Complete Violin Sonatas / Dumay, Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471495 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 48.
    Moonlight - Beethoven: Piano Sonatas / Maria Joao Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453457 Release Date: 11/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 49.
    An Equal Music - Music Featured In The Novel By Vikram Seth
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 466945 Release Date: 08/22/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Honoré,  Rustem Hayroudinoff,  Iona Brown,  Wilhelm Melcher  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Melos String Quartet Stuttgart,  Hagen String Quartet members  ... 
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  • 50.
    Schumann: Piano Concerto, Etc / Pires, Abbado, Dumay, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463179 Release Date: 05/09/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Jian Wang,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Augustin Dumay,  Renaud Capuçon  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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