Martha Argerich, aged 8, plays Beethoven concerto

Martha Argerich, aged 8, plays Beethoven concerto


norman lebrecht

November 02, 2019

Must be heard.

Max Lima has uploaded a radio broadcast recording of Marthita playing Beethoven’s first piano concerto at the age of 8.

The sound is pretty awaful but check in at 2.45 for the soloist’s first entry and you’ll be amazed at her precocity.


  • Pro says:

    For one thing, she seems to have preferred a (correctly) quicker tempo, and had no problem asserting it.

  • christopher storey says:

    It’s too fast at 2:45. Whether that is precocious or not, I have no idea

  • Aaron Herschel says:

    Children at such an age should not be made to play Beethoven ( why him ? ) concertos.
    If one wants to hear this music right one should listen and learn from Sir Andreas Schiff, by far the greatest pianist of our times.

    • Nick Marshall says:

      Yes you do have a point….. But…..the rest is history

    • Herr Doktor says:

      You’re welcome to your opinion regarding who is the greatest pianist of our times, but my best guess is that if a poll was taken of informed listeners to indicate who they believe is the greatest living pianist of our times, I’m reasonably confident Andras Schiff would not make it into the top 5.

      • Herr Doktor says:

        For the record, my choices for the five greatest living pianists are:

        1) Martha Argerich

        And then after her in no particular order: Evgeny Kissin, Krystian Zimerman, Marc-Andre Hamelin, and Murray Perahia.

  • Enrique Firbeymer says:

    I love her little finger flaws, after which she bravely perseveres.

  • sam says:

    The sad thing is her interpretation hasn’t changed in 70 years.

    • Bruce says:

      I don’t agree, although I would say the basic identity is already there; and I wouldn’t call it sad, necessarily. If she already has an identity, is she supposed to start sounding like someone else at some point? One could just as easily praise her for her consistency over the years.

      I find young players often have to go through a transition from “this is the sound a piano [or whatever instrument] makes when someone plays it” to “this is the sound a piano makes when I play it.” Call it developing your own voice, or whatever you like. She sounds like she’s already made that transition.

  • Julieanna says:

    Sweet, despite old recording. Not bad for 8-year-old! Too bad it’s not in video.

  • Graeme Hall says:

    Never mind the playing, just look at that moody expression! Pure Martha.

  • Paolo Di Giovanni says:

    Programmata da Dio … Stupefacente …

  • Po says:

    The keyboard touch is pretty much like her now…. 70 years later.

  • Max says:

    Thank you very much for the shoutout, Norman!

  • Tom Freitag says:

    I see that this is making the rounds again. It didn’t happen.