It comes as a joke when we talk about a challenge that toddlers give to each other, but what if someone says a challenge between two friends at the mere age of 3? Well, the same goes on for the piano prodigy Martha Argerich. From starting to learn piano from the age of 3 to have a debut concert at the age of eight, she proved to the world what dedication meant. Later widely considered one of the greatest pianists of all time, this is the small snap about a prodigy’s life within…
Family and personal life
Martha Argerich was born on 5 June 1941 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her ancestors were Spaniards and her maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from the Russia, who later settled in Colonia Villa Clara.
She has faced lots of struggles and ups and downs in her personal life. She married three times. Her first husband was a composer-conductor Robert Chen, who got a divorce in 1964. They had a daughter, violinist Lyda Chen-Argerich. In 1969 married Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit and got a divorce in 1973. From her second husband, she had a daughter, Annie Dutoit. Again in 1970, she married pianist Stephen Kovacevich and with whom she has a daughter, Stéphanie.
The recognition of prodigy within
As we know, Argerich was a child prodigy. At the age of 3, she started learning the piano. Actually, from a very young age, she had a lot of urge to learn something new. So, her parent started her nursery at the age of two years and eight months. She was the youngest child in her class. One of her school friends, a 5-year-old boy, challenged her that she can’t play the piano, But she responded by playing correctly. Seeing her extraordinary talent, her teacher Argerich’s mother in astonishment.
She started learning the importance of lyricism and feeling from teacher Vincenzo Scaramuzza at the age of 5 and gave her debut concert in 1949 at the age of eight. In 1957, at the age of sixteen, she won two awards, first the Geneva International Music Competition and second the Ferruccio Busoni International Competition back to back within three weeks of each other.
Career of the acclaimed greatest pianists of all time
After her debut concert at the age of 8, in 1960 she made her first commercial recording in coordination with works by Chopin, Brahms, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Liszt; got critical acclaim after its release in 1961. She has been a General Director and is one in creating of the Argerich Music Festival and Encounter in Beppu, Japan.
She had few solo performances for chamber music with instrumentalists in sonatas after the 1980s; Argerich returned to the Proms at the age of 78 in 2019, an account described as “mesmerizing”.
In her path of excellence, Martha Argerich received many awards and accolades. Some of them listed as
- 1st prize in Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition
- First prize in Geneva International Music Competition
- 1st prize in International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition
- Premium Imperiale 2005 Japan
- Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance
- Recipient of The Kennedy Center Honors in 2016
- Recipient of Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2018