Pianist Maria João Pires was born in Lisbon in 1944 where she made her first public performance at the age of seven. She has appeared all over the globe with all the major orchestras and is also a keen performer of chamber music.
I have admired this performer for years, and will never forget the time she played at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and realized, at the opening notes of the orchestra, that she had prepared for the wrong Mozart concerto. That is a performer’s worst nightmare and one can only imagine the shock she must have felt. Nevertheless, she handled the transition flawlessly and played the correct concerto entirely from memory.