With a lady.
She is three months younger than I am and her name is Maria João Pires
It was love at first hearing.
I have never met her.
But I hope soon I will…:-)
In Amsterdam, next month.
She is Portuguese, now living in Brazil, and acclaimed as one of the greatest interpreters of Mozart. Listen to this YouTube where she is playing his last piano concerto, composed and performed by Mozart not long before he died, only 35 years old.
You can find a lot of YouTube clips with her, but many of them are only audio and it is such a pleasure to watch her play…:-). Here are a few audio recordings:
And here are two video recordings, the 2nd Chopin concerto and Mozart’s D minor concerto
For the most fascinating video some background information is needed. In 1999 she was going to play Mozart with the Concertgebouw orchestra under Ricardo Chailly.
As a preparation for the evening performance, there was a public rehearsal. When Chailly started the first bar of the KV466 concerto, she was shocked, because she had prepared a different Mozart concerto!
Watch the video (skip the first 40 seconds), look at her face, how she almost panics. Then watch how Chailly gives (while conducting!) some peptalk: you can do it! And she can, she controls herself, makes the switch to this D minor concerto and starts playing. Absolutely amazing.
Until recently I only knew her by name, and that she was the teacher of two talented young Dutch pianists, Lucas and Arthur Jussen.
By chance I listened recently to one of her YouTube recordings and I fell in love with her playing. I checked her tour dates and discovered that she will give a concert in Amsterdam, 26 September. But then I will be in Amsterdam myself!
So I booked a ticket for that concert for the extravagant price of 95 Euro’s. She will play the 3rd Beethoven piano concerto. Looking forward to it.
Last year an interesting interview with her was published: Maria João Pires: The Buddhist warrior who won. A remarkable lady