One of the finest musicians of her generation, pianist Maria João Pires continues to transfix audiences with the spotless integrity, eloquence and vitality of her art. Born in 1944 in Lisbon, she gave her first public performance in 1948. Since 1970 she has dedicated herself to reflecting on the influence of art on life, community, and education, and in trying to develop new ways of implementing pedagogic theories within society. In the last ten years she has held many workshops with students from all round the world, and has taken her philosophy and teaching to Japan, Brazil, Portugal, France, and Switzerland. More recently she joined the teaching faculty of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium where she is working with a group of highly gifted young pianists. Maria João has appeared with all the major European orchestras, under the batons of Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Ivan Fischer, among others. She has a large and varied discography including solo repertoire, chamber music, and concertos. Recent recordings – released to great critical acclaim – include a solo Schubert CD, and a CD with Antonio Meneses recorded ‘live’ at London’s Wigmore Hall.