Nelson Freire was ‘the consummate recording artist’

Nelson Freire was ‘the consummate recording artist’


norman lebrecht

November 01, 2021

Dominic Fyfe, Decca Classics’ Label Director, was Nelson Freire’s recording producer from 2002. He writes: ‘Nelson was the consummate recording artist. He was more meticulously prepared for the studio than almost any artist I have encountered and his recordings among the least edited. Paradoxically he claimed never to listen to his own recordings but he knew when his performance matched his exacting standards and he placed his trust in our hands to capture this. We will miss him not just for his extraordinary artistry but also for his friendship, his humour, his humility. He was one of the greats and truly irreplaceable’.

Nelson, who died today aged 77, began recording exclusively for Decca Classics in 2001. He won Gramophone Record of the Year in 2007 for the Brahms Piano Concertos and the Latin Grammy for Best Classical Recording in 2013 for ‘Brasileiro’.


  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    Great artist. Its strange for me the first piano concert I have seen was with him and the first concert I have seen was with Haitink. There are worst possibilités to start a concert life. They left us at the same moment. They had a lot of humility. We will never forget them.

  • Scott Colebank says:

    The only time I saw him perform was a few years back at what turned out to be his final recital in Kansas City, MO. I took a couple of his Teldec LPs in my collection with me, hoping he might sign them afterwards. He was pleasantly surprised to see the LPs and signed them graciously. He will be greatly missed but his recorded legacy will live on.