Martha Argerich

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Martha Argerich (born June 5, 1941 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an Argentine concert pianist. Her aversion to the press and publicity has resulted in her remaining out of the limelight for most of her career. Nevertheless she is widely recognized as one of the greatest modern-day pianists and one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century.[1]

Contents

Early life

Argerich was born in Buenos Aires and started playing the piano at age three (the provenance of the name Argerich is uncertain: some say it is Catalan, while others maintain it originates from Croatia).[2] At age five, she moved to teacher Vincenzo Scaramuzza who stressed to her the importance of lyricism and feeling. She gave her debut concert in 1949 at the age of eight, playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15. In 1950, she played Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466 and Bach's French Suite in G major, BWV 816.

The family moved to Europe in 1955 where Argerich studied with Friedrich Gulda in Austria. Juan Perón, then the president of Argentina, made their decision possible by appointing her parents to diplomatic posts in the Argentine Embassy in Vienna. She later studied with Stefan Askenase and Maria Curcio, the last and favourite pupil of Artur Schnabel.[3][4] In 1957, at sixteen, she won both the Geneva International Music Competition and the Ferruccio Busoni International Competition, within three weeks of each other. It was at the latter that she met Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli whom she would later seek out for lessons during a personal artistic crisis at the age of twenty, though she only had four lessons with him in a year and a half.[5] Her greatest influence was Gulda, with whom she studied for 18 months.

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