Argentine pianist Martha Argerich plays the piano with extraordinary passion and exquisite technical skill. In concert performances, as well as in her numerous recordings, she displays a high energy style along with extravagant dynamics at the keyboard which combine to give her a totally unique sound. Argerich is widely recognized as being one of the great piano virtuosos of our time.
Wearing mini-skirts and chain smoking cigarettes, the beautiful Argentine pianist took the musical world by storm in 1965 when she won the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland. The following year she made her US debut in the “Great Performer Series” at Lincoln Center.
Preferring privacy over press and publicity, Argerich has managed to stay out of the limelight despite her successful career. In the few interviews she has given, Argerich often speaks about being "lonely" on stage during solo performances. Since the 1980s, she has performed alone on a few rare occasions. Argerich is noted for her recordings of 20th century works by composers such as Rachmaninoff, Messiaen, and Prokofiev.
In her personal life Argerich has been married three times. Her first marriage was to composer-conductor Robert Chen with whom she had a daughter. During her second marriage to conductor Charles Dutoit, Argerich gave birth to her second child. Even though her marriage to Dutoit was lasted only four years, she continued to record and to perform with him. Her third husband was pianist Stephen Kovacevich, with whom she had her third daughter, Stephanie.
Argerich is president of the International Piano Academy Lake Como and performs each year at the Lugano Festival, in Switzerland. She has also been the General Director of the Argerich Music Festival since 1996.