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Nelson Freire (Piano)

Born in Brazil, Nelson Freire began his piano studies at the age of three with Nise Obino and Lucia Branco, who had worked with a pupil of Liszt. He made his first public appearance at the age of five with Mozart’s Sonata in A, K. 331. In 1957, after winning a grant at the Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition with his performance of Beethoven’s Emperor concerto, he went to Vienna to study with Bruno Seidlhofer, who also taught Friedrich Gulda. Seven years later he won the Dinu Lipatti Medal in London and first prize at the International Vianna da Motta Competition in Lisbon.

His international career began in 1959, taking in appearances in Europe, the USA, Central and South America, Japan and Israel. He has collaborated with distinguished conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Eugen Jochum, Fabio Luisi, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Rudolf Kempe (tours in the United States and Germany with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Vбclav Neumann, Seiji Ozawa, Andrй Previn, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, David Zinman, Hugh Wolff, Ingo Metzmacher, Yuri Temirkanov, Myung-Whun Chung, Ilan Volkov, Alexander Vedernikov, Antoni Wit, Jiшн Bмlohlбvek, Tugan Sokhiev, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Leopold Hager, Louis Langrйe and Thomas Dausgaard.

He has been invited by many acclaimed orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, the Munich Philharmonic, Bayerische Rundfunk, the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, Zurich’s Tonhalle, the Vienna Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the BBC Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Seoul Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de Paris, Radio France Philharmonic and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande as well as the Orchestras of Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York and Philadelphia. Together with Martha Argerich, he toured Japan in 2003, Brazil and Argentina in 2004 and the USA and Canada in 2005 (New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Quebec).

The 2008-09 season began with a European tour together with the Orchestre de Toulouse (Tugan Sokhiev), then concerts with the Orchestre National de France (Kurt Masur), the Orchestre de la Suisse Italienne (Hansjцrg Albrecht), the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Galicia Symphony Orchestra (V. P. Marquez), the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Lionel Bringuier), a Spanish tour with the Danish Symphony Orchestra (Thomas Dausgaard), a tour in North America with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, concerts with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester (Ingo Metzmacher), the Tonkьnstler Orchester (Richard Hickox) and the London Symphony Orchestra (Sir Colin Davies) in addition to recitals in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Germany.

As an exclusive DECCA artist, his recent recordings of Chopin, Schumann and Brahms’ Concertos 1 and 2 with Leipzig’s Gewandhaus under Riccardo Chailly have received prestigious prizes including the Diapason d’Or of the year award, the Grand Prix de l’Acadйmie Charles Cros, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, a “10” rating by Repertoire and “recommended” rating by Classica. His most recent recording has been the Beethoven Sonatas (Diapason d’Or of the month award). The portrait Nelson Freire is available on Video Film (Brazil).

In March 2007 he was appointed a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

Nelson Freire was nominated as “Soloist of the Year 2002” by France’s Victoires de la Musique and in January 2005 he received a special “Honours Award” for his career. His Chopin recording received a Grammy Awards nomination in 2006. His Brahms Concertos with Riccardo Chailly were nominated for a Grammy in 2007 and declared “Record of the Year” and “Winner of the Concerto Category” by Classic FM Gramophone Awards the same year.

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