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Nelson Freire (Fabrice Boissiere)

Nelson Freire

Born in Brazil, Nelson Freire began piano studies at the age of three with Nise Obino and Lucia Branco, who had worked with a pupil of Liszt.  He made his first public appearance at age five with Mozart's Sonata in A major, K. 331.  In 1957, after winning the Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition with his performance of Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto, the president of Brazil presented him with a financial scholarship which allowed him to study with Bruno Seidlhofer, teacher of Friedrich Gulda, in Vienna.  Seven years later, Freire won the Dinu Lipatti Medal in London, as well as first prize at the International Vianna da Motta Competition in Lisbon.