MARTHA ARGERICH, piano
"Argerich is a genuine living legend of the classical music world... she plays the piano brilliantly, ferociously and, perhaps, better than anyone else on Earth." (Washington Post)
Martha Argerich was born in Buenos Aires (Argentina). She began her first piano lessons at the age of five with Vincenzo Scaramuzza. Considered a child prodigy, she soon performed in public. In 1955, she moved to Europe and continued her studies in London, Vienna and in Switzerland with Seidlhofer, Gulda, Magaloff, Mrs Lipatti and Stefan Askenase. In 1957, she won the Bolzano and Geneva Piano Competitions, and in 1965 the Warsaw International Chopin Competition. Since then, she has been one of the most prominent pianists in the world, both in popularity and ability.
Martha Argerich has been rated highly for her performance of the virtuoso piano literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her large repertoire includes Bach, Bartók, Beethoven and Messiaen, as well as Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. Though she is permanently invited by the most prestigious orchestras, conductors and music festivals in Europe, Japan, America and Israel (with Zubin Mehta and Lahav Shani), chamber music occupies a significant place of her musical life. She regularly plays and records with Nelson Freire, Alexandre Rabinovitch, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer and Daniel Barenboim. "This harmony within a group of people gives me a strong and peaceful feeling," she once said.
Martha Argerich has recorded for EMI, Sony, Philips, Teldec, DGG and many of her performances were broadcasted on television worldwide. She has received many awards : “Grammy Award” for Bartók and Prokofiev Concertos, “Gramophone – Artist of the Year”, “Best Piano Concerto Recording of the Year” for Chopin concertos, “Choc” of the Monde de la Musique for her Amsterdam recital, “Künstler des Jahres Deutscher Schallplatten Kritik”, “Grammy Award” for Prokofiev’s Cinderella with Mikhail Pletnev and a “Grammy Award” for Beethoven Concertos Nos.2 & 3 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Claudio Abbado (DGG / Best Instrumental Soloist Performance), “Sunday Times – Record of the Year” and “BBC Music Magazine Award” for her Shostakovich recording (EMI – 2007). Last recordings: Mozart concertos K466 and K503 with Orchestra Mozart and Claudio Abbado, and a duo recital with Daniel Barenboim (Deutsche Grammophon)
Since 1998 she is the Artistic Director of the Beppu Festival in Japan; in 1999 she created the International Piano Competition and Festival Martha Argerich in Buenos Aires; in June 2002 the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano; and in 2018 the Martha Argerich Festival in Hamburg.
Martha Argerich has received numerous distinctions:
– “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” in 1996 and “Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres ” in 2004 by the French Government
– “Accademica di Santa Cecilia” in Rome in 1997
– “Musician of the Year” by Musical America 2001
– « The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette » by the Japanese Emperor and the prestigious « Praemium Imperiale » by the Japan Art Association in 2005
– Kennedy Center Honors by Barack Obama in December 2019
– Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana by Sergio Mattarella in October 2018
DARÍO ALEJANDRO NTACA,
Piano / Conductor
"Darío Ntaca is an excellent pianist and searching musician... his interpretation of Rachmaninoff´s works show very high standards."
The eldest son of the late piano pedagogue Alejandro Ntaca, Dario A. Ntaca began his piano lessons with his mother, Marta Rossi, and then furthered his studies under his father’s intensive guidance. He also studied orchestral conducting at The Juilliard School with Vincent La Selva and is a graduate of the State University of New York where he studied with Claudio Arrau´s assistant, Germán Diez. When he was 14, Dario had the privilege to meet the legendary Earl Wild, whose pianistic influence as “The Last Romantic” has been vital in his development.
Mr. Ntaca has performed solo recitals in cities such as Paris, Belgrade, Bucharest, Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York. In 1985, The New York Times praised his performance at Carnegie Recital Hall. He has served as Music Director at the Guild for International Piano Competitions, being subsequently invited to be a juror at the Palm Beach International Piano Competition from 1991 until 2001. Besides a successful career as a virtuoso pianist and conductor Mr. Ntaca also gave masterclasses in piano and chamber music at the Universidade Federal de Brasilia, National Conservatory of Romania, Guarnerius Art Centre in Serbia, California State University, New England Conservatory in Boston, Florida Atlantic University and the prestigious McGill University in Montréal.
Besides his international engagements, Mr. Ntaca is the founder of the Sinfonietta Argerich, and has been its Music Director since its creation in 2004. He has toured with the Orchestra in Argentina with Martha Argerich as soloist. In addition, Mrs. Argerich and Mr. Ntaca have also appeared in many occasions as a piano duo, performing regularly at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the home for the annual Martha Argerich International Festival.
Mr. Ntaca has been Music Director of the San Luis Orchestra (SLO) in Argentina from 1990 to 1996. His most remarkable activities with the SLO include a US tour in 1992 performing throughout Vermont, Massachusetts and Florida where he played and conducted from the keyboard. Mr. Ntaca has also appeared as pianist and conductor with the Sinfonietta de Paris, Burgas Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Moravian, Russe, Varna and Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestras. He also toured Spain in 1994 with the Oxford Chamber Orchestra.
His piano repertoire includes all the works for piano and orchestra by Rachmaninov which he has performed in major centres throughout the Americas. These performances were acclaimed unanimously by critics and distinguished artists like Martha Argerich and Alexis Weissenberg in 1990. For his performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3, he received the "1983 Concert Award" from the State University of New York and in 1985 he won the Silver Medal at the Mozart International Competition in Colorado.
In 2018, Mr. Ntaca and Martha Argerich made their joint debuts in Southeast Asia with two concerts in Singapore: a two-piano, four-hands recital, followed by a concert with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mr. Ntaca, who also played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, K. 453.
Performances in 2019 include Mr. Ntaca’s debut in the Berlin Philharmonie (Rachmaninoff's First Piano Concerto), with the Havana National Symphony Orchestra (Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto), and a return to Singapore. In January 2019, he conducted a week-long Mozart masterclass in Padua, Italy, focused on the performance of Mozart’s piano concertos and the technique of conducting an orchestra from the piano.
LYDA CHEN ARGERICH, viola
Born in Geneva, Lyda Chen Argerich first studied violin in the Geneva Music Conservatory with Ayla Erduran. She then took classes with Professor Lin Yaoji at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. On her return from China she began to study law and humanities at the Geneva University and obtained a law degree.
Later she found many affinities with the viola and its repertoire. Mostly self-taught in the instrument, she started to perform in different groups, followed string quartet class of Gabor Takács and received a diploma of chamber music at the Geneva Music Conservatory. She perfected her studies with Professor Marie-Françoise Pallot from the Boulogne Conservatory.
Some musical encounters with her mother Martha Argerich opened the way to further experience in music performing with many fantastic performers. She played at Verbier Festival, La Roque D’Antheron, Viviers, les Folles Journées de Nantes, Chambery, Salzburg Festspielen and Progetto Argerich in Lugano.
She played chamber music concerts in Tokyo Triphony and Sumida Halls, Teatro Colon, Salle Pleyel, Salzburg Mozarteum and played as soloist in the Zürich Tonhalle, the Teatros del Circulo and San Juan in Argentina. She has enjoyed playing as invited guest in various orchestras such as Japan New Philharmonic Orchestra della RSI, China All Star Orchestra, West Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Since 2014 she has been playing as soloist and conducting professional orchestras in France and China. She was invited to play recitals and give viola and chamber music masterclasses for music schools and Conservatories in Spain, China, Argentina, Switzerland, Bolivia and Kazakhstan.
EMI recordings from the Lugano Festival include Beethoven, Dvorak, Schumann, Faure quartets, Franck and Chostakovich quintets with partners such as Ivry Gitlis, Mischa Maisky, Martha Argerich, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon and Gabriela Montero.
YEMO HE, clarinet
Yemo He, clarinettist, is associate professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and a Master’s supervisor.
He has worked with many famous orchestras, performed clarinet works of different styles from various periods, and given premieres of fabulous works of foreign and Chinese contemporary composers. He has performed many solo recitals.
He has participated in the recording of such albums as Mystical Scent and Tathagata, and played solo parts in music recordings for such films as Prince of Himalayas, the large epic musical sitcom Lingshan Mountain - Ode to Good Fortune, and Chinese contemporary projects including plays, dance, and music showcases.
He performed clarinet solos in world premieres of such works as Yemo’s Recorder, Sala Tree Song and Sunyata Dance.
In 2005, he won the second prize in the clarinet section of The 5th Italy Beethoven International Music Competition, in a year when no first prize was awarded.
He's performances have received critical acclaim throughout China, noting his "good command of the interpretative style of diverse composers in different periods, imbuing familiar works with fresh and original ideas"; and "his particularly expressive, creative, special and intellectual playing".