The centerpiece of the event is a recital of the last two sonatas of Beethoven (Op. 110 and Op. 111) with a selection of other Beethoven late piano music, played by Maria João Pires.
The recital will be accompanied by conversation about the role of humanity and music and about its extraordinary contribution for a meaningful life and a better world.
Maria João Pires started playing at the age of three, giving her first public performance two years later. Pires performed Mozart piano concertos when she was only seven and received Portugal’s major prize for musicians at nine. She studied with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoît at the Lisbon Conservatory, graduating at 16.
Often praised for her extraordinary renditions of Mozart’s works, Pires has also shown a remarkable affinity with other great composers, including Bach, Chopin, and Schubert. An enormously successful recording artist, Pires has released several critically acclaimed discs, including a Bach album, recordings of Chopin’s Nocturnes and Schubert’s Impromptus, and a recording of two Mozart concertos with Claudio Abbado. Her recording of Mozart’s complete sonatas received the 1990 Grand Prix du Disque. Since 2000, Pires has also been focusing on a variety of unique educational projects.
“In the last movement of his last sonata, Beethoven is not anymore talking to any one of us. Where he is going, there is nothing but the perfection of silence, a silence that he had to painfully bear for most of his life, a silence that is finally transforming into redemption and enlightenment.”