Maria-Joao Pires is badly injured in Riga

Maria-Joao Pires is badly injured in Riga


norman lebrecht

September 05, 2021

The Portuguese pianist, who is 77, was due to close the Riga Jūrmala Festival tonight but suffered a bad fall earlier in the day. She is now in hospital.

Here’s our eyewitness report:

Maria Joao Pires was due to perform a recital as the closing concert of the Riga Jūrmala Festival this evening at the Latvian National Opera. At the start of the performance, Martin Engstroem and executive director Zane Čulkstena came out to announce that Joao Pires suffered a fall that afternoon on the streets of Riga – she’s now in the hospital recovering (the two directors described it as “rather serious”). Mao Fujita subbed in at the last moment, having performed twice already in the festival (a solo recital and accompanying Marc Bouchkov). It appears Fujita largely repeated his program from the day before. 



  • fernandel says:

    Such a great artist and human being…

  • Tony Magee says:

    This is terrible news. I wish Maria João Pires all the best for a speedy recovery and a return to the concert platform as soon as she is able. Her recording of Schubert’s Impromptus for Deutsche Grammophon – Le Voyage Magnifique – is one of my favourite discs.

    • Francisco says:

      I could not believe how great they were! I was looking up Schubert and discovered her. I wanted to see her immediately and she was sold out everywhere, then she stopped performing
      Finally changed her mind and presented her students in Florence ( sorry I did like them) but when she just played the first chord , I was in heaven

  • Herbie G says:

    How sad – wishing her a speedy and complete recovery.

  • Joel Lazar says:

    Every good wish for a speedy and complete recovery by this cherished and valued artist.

  • Maria Lucia Soberano says:

    Maria -Joao Pires, hope you get well soon, God & Mama Mary Bless, guide & protect you well

  • Wishing Maria Joao a solid recovery!

  • fflambeau says:

    Sad, she’s a great pianist.

    Falls happen routinely when you’re her age and are the leading cause of death in the elderly. That said, she’s a great performer and one hopes she regains her health.

  • Rob Keeley says:

    Bless her – I hope she makes a swift recovery.

  • Monika says:

    So sad news..We hope Maria will soon recover!And will be back to Her piano! m

  • António Cirurgião says:

    I hope and pray that you have a prompt and complete recovery. All lovers of great art are with you and need you. Godspeed.

  • Elizabeth A. Diaz says:

    God has blessed her with immense talent. May He bless her with recovery from her fall.