Granny pianist gets new management

Granny pianist gets new management


norman lebrecht

May 15, 2014

Maria Joao Pires, whose handsome grandson turns pages at her recitals, has found new management.

Long with Jan Burnett, who used to work for Harold Holt before she set up a standalone, Pires has moved back to Askonas Holt on Jan’s retirement. Nice to know that the career, like her granny pal Martha’s (below), continues to flourish.

argerich pires2


  • Larry Tucker says:

    Dear Norman,
    One slight correction. An artist does not work FOR a management. The management works FOR the artist.

  • Andrys says:

    I thought Norman was saying that Jan Burnett, her long-time, mgr had previously worked for Harold Holt and had started her own mgmt company but is now retiring.

  • Pamela Mia Paul says:

    Why is the word “granny” being tossed around? Do journalists refer to men of a certain age as “grampa”???

  • Jessica Wise says:

    Granny? Seriously? I can’t imagine a male pianist being referred to that way.

  • Rachel Y. says:

    It is demeaning to refer to these women as a “granny” and “her granny pal.” Even if the fact that they have grandchildren is relevant, such as having a grandson turning pages, it implies that they’re not to be taken seriously and that it’s a novelty that a woman who is a grandmother would possibly be under artist management. Hard to imagine an older male pianist being called “gramps” and remarking that his career miraculously “continues to flourish.”

  • Walter Wiggins says:

    Grandpa blogger writes asinine post passive-aggressively mocking the ages of artists high above his own level of renown.

  • Lily Maisky says:

    Indeed of all the adjectives to choose to describe these two phenomenal ladies, albeit they are both indeed grandmothers, “granny” seems an odd choice…

  • Andrys says:

    I thought Norman was being both provocative and ironic, probably in the interests of baiting us after noting that Pires’ grandson was a page turner for her, drawing attention to the fact she’s a grandmother.

    The last word that would come to my mind for either of these two is ‘granny’ so I thought he was mainly being silly, using that word (normally a dismissive one for someone who’s lost the powers of youth) for two of the most formidable, powerful pianists today, after noting the grandson. Grand irony.

    I pictured extreme mischief coinciding with a wish to increase traffic and activity. So I ignored it.

    But it’s also true this whimsy would likely never be shown with a grandpa pianist. 🙂