The Kennedy Center

Martha Argerich


Martha Argerich was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Considered a child prodigy, she began her first piano lessons at the age of five with Vincenzo Scaramuzza. In 1955, she moved to Europe and continued her studies in London, Vienna, and Switzerland. In 1957, she won the Bolzano and Geneva Piano Competitions, and in 1965 the Warsaw International Chopin Competition. She made her first commercial recording in 1960 followed by her U.S. debut in 1965 in the Lincoln Center's Great Performers series. Since then, she has been considered one of the most prominent pianists in the world both in popularity and ability.

She rose to fame with her interpretations of virtuoso piano literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her large repertoire includes Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, and Messiaen, as well as Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky. Though she is permanently invited by the most prestigious orchestras, conductors, and music festivals in Europe, Japan, and America, chamber music currently represents a significant part of her musical life. Her collaborations with other artists are legendary as is her support for young artists. She has organized international competitions where she also sometimes serves as juror, hosts an annual festival, performs special concerts, and teaches masterclasses herself along with her frequent collaborators.

She has recorded for EMI, Sony, Philips, Teldec, and DGG, and performed for worldwide broadcasts, receiving numerous international distinctions. Among her numerous accolades, she been the recipient of three Grammy Awards(r), continuing to elevate the classical music genre in quality and appeal to a global audience.
Martha Argerich