Born in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Martha Argerich began learning piano at the age of five with Vincenzo Scaramuzza. A child prodigy, she soon was giving public performances, before moving to Europe in 1955 to continue her education in London, Vienna and Switzerland, with Friedrich Gulda, Nikita Magaloff, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Stefan Askenase. In 1957, she won the piano competitions in Bolzano and Geneva, and in 1965 the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Ever since, she has been regarded as one of the world’s finest pianists. She is particularly highly regarded for her interpretations of the virtuoso piano literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Her broad repertoire notably includes works by Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Messiaen, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. Argerich works continually with the most outstanding orchestras, conductors and festivals in the world. Chamber music also plays an important part in her artistic activities. She regularly performs and records with pianists Nelson Freire and Alexandre Rabinovitch, cellist Mischa Maisky and violinist Gidon Kremer.
Since 1998, she has been Artistic Director of the Beppu Festival, Japan. In 1999, she created the International Piano Competition and the Martha Argerich Festival in Buenos Aires, followed by the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, in 2002.
Her many awards and distinctions include Officer (1996) and Commander (2004) of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia Award (1997), the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Rosette from the Emperor of Japan and the prestigious Praemium Imperiale of the Japanese Arts Association (2005).
Golovin began studying the piano at the age of 5 with Anna Artobolevskaya at the Central Music School of Moscow and later at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he studied both the piano and musicology. He completed his studies at the Geneva Conservatory, where he won first prize with distinction, for virtuosity. He has won prizes at the Casagrande Competition in Terni and the Busoni Competition in Bolzano, he has given concerts in Europe, Asia, Southern Africa, North and South America as well as at the most prestigious festivals. He has played in duo with Martha Argerich and has given world premieres, including those of Ginastera’s Second and Third sonatas. He has maintained close connections with his native country and regularly performs in Moscow’s most important concert halls, including the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory; he also performs with the State Philharmonic Orchestra.
Golovin dedicates much time to teaching – he was a professor at the Geneva Conservatory – and his students have won first prizes in various international competitions. His prolific discography includes works by Chopin and Schumann, Rachmaninoff’s Etudes Tableaux, works by Scriabin, Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1, B minor Sonata and Mephisto Waltz, chamber music, and the piano concertos by Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Nikolai Tcherepnin, and Rodion Shchedrin. Golovin has given many master classes including at the Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum in Salzburg, Manhattan School of Music, Conservatory of Buenos-Aires, Conservatory of Moscow, Oxford Philomusica Summer Academy and Canton International Summer Music Academy.
Akiko Ebi launched her international career by winning second prize and four special prizes given by Arthur Rubinstein in the Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris and reaching the final of the 10th Chopin Competition in Warsaw, earning the recognition of Martha Argerich, her future mentor. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Aldo Ciccolini and pursued additional studies with Vlado Perlemuter, Louis Kentner, Conrad Hansen and Colette Zerah. She has performed throughout the world, in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Gewandhaus, Teatro Colón, Wigmore Hall and Suntory Hall, with such outstanding conductors as Brüggen, Calderon, Foster, Fournet, Guschlbauer, Janowski, Klee, Milanov, Sado, Sinaisky and Skrowaczewski. As a chamber musician, she has given piano duo recitals with Martha Argerich and performed with Augustin Dumay, Regis Pasquier, Angela Hewitt, Michel Dalberto and Yumino Toyoda, as well as the Parisii and Via Nova quartets. She appears regularly at festivals in La Roque d’Anthéron, Verbier, Menton, Echternach, Lugano, New York, Tokyo and Warsaw.
Janusz Olejniczak is one of the most outstanding contemporary Chopin interpreters. Born in Wrocław, he was the youngest prize-winner of the 8th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition (1970) and also won a prize in the Alfredo Casella International Competition in Naples. He has performed in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, in the most famous concert halls, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Salle Pleyel, Suntory Hall, Lincoln Center, Tonhalle in Düsseldorf and Concertgebouw. He has been a juror of piano competitions many times and given masterclasses abroad – in Europe, Canada, Japan and Columbia. Besides the core Classical repertoire, he also performs Polish contemporary music (incl. Lutosławski, Górecki and Kilar). He has played with orchestra under the direction of Witold Rowicki, Stanisław Wisłocki, Kazimierz Kord, Antoni Wit, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Wojciech Michniewski, Tadeusz Strugała, Charles Dutoit, Andrzej Borejko, Grzegorz Nowak, Jacek Kaspszyk and others.
For many years, he has also worked with Marek Moś and the Aukso Orchestra. He was one of the first performers of Chopin’s music on period instruments (Erard and Pleyel) and is a regular guest of the festival ‘Chopin and his Europe’ in Warsaw, including appearances alongside Martha Argerich and Maria João Pires. He has also appeared many times with Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées and Philippe Herreweghe. He has made over forty recordings, including the soundtracks to Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and Andrzej Żuławski’s La note bleu. Among his many recordings for the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, particularly notable is the recently finished complete set of mazurkas on period instrument. He has been decorated with the Officer’s Cross of the Rebirth of Poland (2000), the ‘Gloria Artis’ Gold Medal (2005) and ‘Fryderyk’ awards (eight times). From October 2015, he will be working with the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
Nelson Freire is one of the very finest piano virtuosos around. Distinguished with state awards in many countries, he has performed in the leading concert halls and worked with the most outstanding soloists, conductors and orchestras. He was born in a small town in Brazil. He trained initially with Nise Obino and Lucia Branco. In 1957, at the First Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition, he received a scholarship enabling him to study in Vienna with Friedrich Gulda’s teacher, Bruno Seidlhofer. Two years later, he launched his international career. To date, he has given concerts in more than 70 countries, with such conductors as Valery Gergiev, Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, André Previn, Lorin Maazel, David Zinman, Kurt Masur and Colin Davis, performing with such orchestras as the Berlin, London and Israel philharmonic orchestras, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam, as well as other major orchestras of Europe and North America.
Pianist Alexander Reitenbach studied in tradition of Russian, German and French piano schools with profs Oleg Maisenberg, Friedemann Rieger and Guenther Reinhold – one of the last students Cortots and Messiaens. Reitenbach graduated from Stuttgart Academy of Music with distinction. Alexanders repertoire reaches from Barock, which he also performs on organ and harpsichord to contemporary music, from piano solo works to chamber music in all instrumentations.
Reitenbach was guest to festivals and recitals to numerous countries in Europe and Asia. He performed with Thailand Philharmonic, Beijing Symphony, Korea Symphony, European Festival and Stuttgart State Orchestra. Last Season Alexander was invited to perform Chopin’s f-minor and Tchaikovsky’s G-major concertos in Stuttgart and Amsterdam.
He teaches piano at Stuttgart Academy of Music and Arts.
Magdalena Hirsz, a Polish pianist of Asian descent has been impressing audiences, critics and fellow performers alike with her vibrant pianism and sensitive musicality. She is prized for command of a rich and vivid tonal palette, and a virtuosity that is allied to intuitive and thoughtful interpretation. Among highlights of recent seasons have been recital engagements in Europe, Asia and Latin America. She has appeared at choice festivals including Septembre Musical and Lourmarin with different interactive projects as the G. Mancini, Béjart ballet or with the contemporary painters and photographers.
Magdalena Hirsz began her musical studies in Poland at the Music School and at the age of 14 she gave her first public concert performing Chopin and her own improvisations. On her 18th birthday she became a student in Geneva Music Conservatory in Switzerland. She nevertheless continued to study, musicology at the University of Geneva, then at the the Academy of Music in Łódź, Warsaw and Viena. Magdalena Hirsz’s repertoire is an eclectic mix of music from the Classical period to contemporary music. She has recorded 2 CDs. Besides, she has been developing a parallel career as a pedagogue: she was in charge of the piano class and chamber music at the Institut International de Lancy in Geneva, at Rene Gościnny French High School in Warsaw, the F. Chopin Music Conservatory in Warsaw, St. George’s International school in Montreux and Ecole de Musique in Villeneuve.
Magdalena is also a creator and artistic director of three Winter Piano Festivals in Warsaw, International Piano Competition for Youth “Jeune Chopin” in Martigny and the President of F. Chopin Institute in Switzerland.
Magdalena Hirsz began her musical studies in Poland at the Music School and at the age of 14 she gave her first public concert performing Chopin and her own improvisations. On her 18th birthday she became a student in Geneva Music Conservatory in Switzerland. She nevertheless continued to study, musicology at the University of Geneva, then at the the Academy of Music in Łódź, Warsaw and Vienna. Magdalena Hirsz’s repertoire is an eclectic mix of music from the Classical period to contemporary music. She has recorded 2 CDs. Besides, she has been developing a parallel career as a pedagogue: she was in charge of the piano class and chamber music at the Institut International de Lancy in Geneva, at Rene Gościnny French High School in Warsaw, the F. Chopin Music Conservatory in Warsaw, St. George’s International school in Montreux and Ecole de Musique in Villeneuve. Magdalena is also a creator and artistic director of three Winter Piano Festivals in Warsaw, International Piano Competition for Youth “Jeune Chopin” in Martigny and the President of F. Chopin Institute in Switzerland.