Martha Argerich won’t go Down Under after all

Martha Argerich won’t go Down Under after all


norman lebrecht

June 21, 2017

She had been due to make her Australian debut next week at the age of 75, but the great pianist has pleaded exhaustion and is sending Yuja Wang instead.

Here’s what she’s telling disappointed Aussies:

Dear Sydney public,

I am terribly sorry to disappoint you and my dearest friend and lifetime musical partner Charles Dutoit who is the father of our daughter Annie. This is a very important event, his anniversary, 40 years after his first visit to your beautiful country. I am unable to travel and play in this moment, feel very weak, exhausted and having physical pains that worry me, please excuse me!

‘In this condition I am afraid to travel such a long way, I ask your forgiveness, to Charles Dutoit, to the orchestra and to you.

Martha Argerich

photo: Rodrigo Carrizo Couto, 2014


  • V.Lind says:

    Well, that’s the easiest $100 I ever made.

    However, at her age, and in clearly delicate health, wise decision. Less wise, perhaps, to make such commitments, and she should really stop doing it. Given her track record of cancelling, I doubt there were too many disappointed fans, though she would have had her full complement had she made it. But people invest in plans and preparations. From here on in, an Argerich booking is, as it should have been for years, strictly Buyer Beware.

    She does sound in dodgy condition, and I wish her well. But my patience with her promising things she could not deliver ran out years ago.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    Well, what’s new?
    Martha Cancelich

  • boringfileclerk says:

    To be honest, there isn’t much going on in Australia anyway. The country really isn’t known for it’s music culture. She’s better off staying at home. May she recover soon.

    • Jay says:


      • Selpak says:

        Is this the new fashion lately? When someone says something that contradicts with what you think, you ask for references? I have been seeing a lot of it since the “media can’t be trusted” Trump speeches.
        One hardly needs references to know what mainstream Australians think in regards to the Arts, and generally anything outside of getting drunk and lying in the sun watching cricket.

        • Jay says:

          ha, i thought the fashion was to back up statements with anything resembling an argument. must be an English thing

        • Fergus says:

          How horribly narrow minded and spoken like a person who has never been there. It is true that Australia’s appreciation of classical music isn’t overly widespread but what we do have is highly developed. Our state orchestras have done very well for themselves, and Martha’s three Sydney shows at the Sydney opera house concert hall sold out.

          Australia’s music program is actually growing as well, and by saying things like that who are you helping? People like you are the problem, not the entire country of Australia

          • Jay says:

            I think this is the Brexit thing. Denounce other countries and cultures, even those you invaded! Or maybe the London snobbiness that the rest of the country hates.

  • Carole says:

    We’ve been lucky. Not once has she cancelled when we’ve had tickets….and we’ve attended many of her concerts.

  • Ceasar says:

    which concerto was she supposed to play?

  • PhilOrchFan says:

    IMHO Yuja is probably the better pianist at this point.

  • Arto says:

    A few years ago Frank Braley needed to cancel last minute a concert in and Martha appeared on stage. Unannounced and unexpected.

  • Hilary says:

    It would be more interesting to see Argerich sightread something much as I admire her.
    The tyranny of ‘success’.