Martha Argerich: The piano is a selfish lover

Martha Argerich: The piano is a selfish lover


norman lebrecht

November 06, 2016

In a rare interview with Corriere della Sera, she says she tried to betray the piano three times, with marriages to three different men. She had three daughters. But in the end, the piano demanded total love.

Quanto è difficile essere una leggenda del piano? «Il pianoforte è un amante esigente, ti vuole solo per sé. Ho provato a tradirlo, mi sono sposata tre volte, ho avuto tre figlie. Ma alla fine l’amore totale è lui. A cui sacrifichi gli affetti, anche i più cari. Non so se sono stata una buona madre, potrei tentare di migliorarmi come nonna.


martha argerich


  • Bruce says:

    I remember reading a similar quote in an interview with Gina Bachauer: something to the effect that “If you have a husband, it must be the piano first, then your husband. If you have children, it must be the piano first, then your children.” It’s a hard life, not only for the pianist.

    (See also the Ingmar & Ingrid Bergman movie “Autumn Sonata,” where she plays a famous pianist and Liv Ullmann is her unhappy daughter.)

  • Sue says:

    Argerich was “married” to Stephen Kovacevich – that talented hunk of spunk. If that isn’t enough to distract her from the piano nothing EVER will!!! In a fairly recent film – made by one of MA’s daughters – Kovacevich described her as “less cold than she used to be”. Yes, I can imagine Argerich being of an icy disposition.