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Tonight, a great pianist says goodbye

December 21, 2017 by norman lebrecht

15 comments.


The Portuguese-born pianist Maria Joao Pires announced her retirement two months ago.

It was intended to take effect next summer. But Pires has cancelled her 2018 dates and tonight’s Zurich concert with Bernard Haitink and the Tonhalle appears to be her last public performance.

Pires is 73.

Her final work is Mozart’s last piano concerto, K595.

We wish her a contented retirement.


Comments (15)

  1. Been Here Before says:

    Farewell! Pires will be greatly missed. A truly wonderful artist!

  2. Manu says:

    That’s kind of mislead, she is confirmed as a soloist in several concerts in Spain and elsewhere in 2018 including a tour with Harding. She will not stop playing. Pires likes this kind of set-ups…

    1. Been Here Before says:

      If this is true, then it’s a great news!

    2. Patrick Gillot says:

      Except that it is said in the article that she cancelled all 2018 concerts…..

    3. Dona Ana says:

      She is scheduled to play with Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon in Valladolid Spain with Lionel Bringuir conducting in Jan. 2018. We’re not aware of her cancelling.

    4. Lilit says:

      Those concerts are part of her last concerts. The info is right. There is no set up.

  3. David E says:

    It has clearly already ‘taken affect’ ‘ (sic) in so far as it has created an emotional reaction (of regret) in you Norman. But I’m glad to hear that it has not, in fact, taken effect which is what you meant. She is a treasure – and it’s wonderful to learn that more performances are still to come. Mind you, had it been true, not a bad way to bow out – and with such colleagues!

  4. Ga Kitada says:

    Just received an email from the LSO that she won’t be playing Schumann with Gardiner in March next yr because of her retirement. So I guess she’s fully retired. What a pity!

  5. Patrick Gillot says:

    K 595 you mean the 27.

  6. Simon Scott says:

    Last concert? We’ve heard that one before…..
    Besides,MJP should never retireIMO

  7. BR-KLASSIK says:

    We were informed by her agency that Maria João Pires will give a small number of public concerts elsewhere in 2018.

  8. La Verita says:

    Very fine artist, but anybody who has worked with her knows full well that whatever she says should be taken with a grain of salt.

    1. Manu says:

      You said it very elegantly… It’s exactly that.


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