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 51-75 of 80 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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
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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    Baby Play - Classical Favorites For Toddler's Playtime
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 46031 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  David Pyatt,  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Turibio Santos  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Yutaka Sado,  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon  ... 
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  • 61.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas - Moonlight, etc / Maria-Joao Pires
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 89225 Release Date: 02/19/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Piano Adagios
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 24679 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Helen Huang,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Jürnjakob Timm,  Francois-René Duchable  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  James Conlon,  Arvo Volmer,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    Chopin: Piano Concerto No 1, Etc / Pires, Krivine, Coe
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457585 Release Date: 03/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Krivine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 67.
    Le Voyage Magnifique - Schubert: Impromptus / Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457550 Release Date: 01/27/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 68.
    Nightmoods - Solo Journey
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453901 Release Date: 04/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff,  Göran Söllscher,  Nathan Milstein,  Pierre Fournier  ... 
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  • 69.
    Chopin: The Nocturnes / Maria Joao Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447096 Release Date: 11/19/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 70.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 17 & 21 / Pires, Abbado
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439941 Release Date: 06/11/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 71.
    Bach: Partita No 1, Etc / Maria Joao Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447894 Release Date: 03/12/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
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  • 72.
    Schumann: Drei Romanzen, Etc / Boyd, Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439889 Release Date: 03/15/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  Douglas Boyd
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  • 73.
    Chopin: Piano Concerto No 2, 24 Preludes / Pires, Previn
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437817 Release Date: 01/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Baby Dance - A Toddler's Jump On The Classics
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 96887 Release Date: 09/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Ton Koopman,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Jean-François Heisser,  Pierre Pierlot  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Alexander Lazarev,  Theodor Guschlbauer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 14 & 26 / Pires, Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437529 Release Date: 12/07/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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