June 05, 2016

Artist tributes flowing in for Martha Argerich on her 75th birthday

Itzhak Perlman, Gautier Capuçon, Antonio Pappano and Martha's piano protégés share birthday wishes for a living legend.

Dear Martha,

Thank you for the great experience of making music together. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to play with you. Your great artistry was my 70th birthday present. But since now you are celebrating yours, may I wish you a very very happy and healthy birthday and many happy returns.

See you soon,

-Itzhak Perlman

My dearest Martula,

Meeting you has had a huge impact in my life – a personal, emotional and musical impact.

I was so immensely lucky to meet you – this great, fiery pianist; this living legend, this goddess of music and above all this extraordinary woman – free-spirited, passionate, curious and sensitive.

I was so excited to play with you for the first time – the Mendelssohn Piano Trio – and yet at the same time blown away, even intimidated; this young cellist fresh out of the Conservatoire suddenly face to face with a classical music giant. I will never forget the kindness with which you looked at me, and the trust you placed in me. You led me by the hand on stage with infectious energy and tenderness.

Everything I’ve experienced on stage with you and in life is invaluable. The first wild years at Lugano, the frenzy around the Gulda homage in Japan, the Beethoven Triple Concerto...

Today I’d like to tell you, once again, MERCI.
Thank you for who you are.
Thank you for your sincerity and fidelity.
Thank you for all the love you give your fellow musicians and friends.

-Gautier Capuçon

Martha Gautier 2

Martha Argerich has in many ways been my teacher because I have conducted my debuts with her of the Schumann Piano Concerto, the Liszt E-Flat, Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto, Tchaikovsky No.1 and Beethoven No.1. Needless to say, once you have performed these concertos with her, it is almost impossible to imagine them played another way, such is her originality, fire, and sophistication.

May she continue to wow us all with her bewitching yet oh-so-natural way with music, and to continue offering her enormous wisdom to the younger generation of musicians...And to those of us who are not so young! -Sir Antonio Pappano

Since I listened to her playing for the very first time I immediately fell in love with her incomparable way of making music. The way she preformed evoked emotions in me that I had never felt before. I was so overwhelmed by her great naturalness, her unfailing musical instinct and her incredible virtuosity and strength that it became one of my biggest dreams to meet her in person some day and maybe even to be able to play for her.

After a couple of years, in 2010, this dream actually came true thanks to a great coincidence: at a small summer festival in Italy my great idol actually let me play for her in her practice room. Everything changed for me. From that day on Martha Argerich became my musical mentor, supported me generously and, above all, a close personal friendship started to grow between us.

Whenever she comes to visit me in Munich now and we sit together to talk and joke about music and life, these are the most inspiring and beautiful hours for me.

I am unbelievably thankful and happy to have her, for me she is the one and only; she is my 'piano mama'!

Thank you, Martula, for existing and for enriching our lives with your wonderful art. All the very best for your birthday from the bottom of my heart! Tantissimi auguroni!

-Sophie Pacini

Martha was always was my idol from childhood, and I still remember the moment I met her in Milan for the first time.

Since then I feel in love not only in her playing which is beyond any imagination, but also immense admiration for her warm, motherly and caring personality.

Sometimes I feel guilty that she does care for me so much and I have nothing to offer her...And I have to confess that getting to know her is the best thing ever happened in my life.

Happy birthday, Martha! I love you so much!

If I think to Martha Argerich one word comes immediately to my mind: immortality. Immortality because, with her overwhelming energy, she has been able to stop time and write incredible pages in the history of pianism. Best wishes, Martha! -Beatrice Rana