Born in Brazil in 1944, Nelson Freire was three years old when his sister gave him his first piano lesson. A natural talent, he was able to play back from memory entire pieces performed by her. He soon began systematic piano studies under the tutelage of Nise Obino and Lucia Branco (students of Franz Liszt), making his first public appearance at the age of four, performing Mozart's Sonata in A major (K. 331). His success performing Beethoven's Emperor Concerto at the 1957 International Piano Competition in Rio de Janeiro earned him a government funded scholarship which enabled him to continue his studies in Vienna with Bruno Seidlhofer. Seven years later, Freire won the Dinu Lipatti Medal in London and first prize at the International Vienna da Motta Competition in Lisbon.
Nelson Freire has since performed as soloist with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Bayerische Rundfunk, and Rotterdam Philharmonic. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Pierre Boulez, Eugen Jochum, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, Andre Previn, and David Zinman.
Freire made his United States debut in 1970 playing Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 4 with the New York Philharmonic; his New York recital debut took place the next day. Since then he has toured the United States regularly, performing recitals in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Denver, among others.
Freire also performs in recitals and duo concerts with Martha Argerich, with whom he recorded Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals, with Gidon Kremer and Misha Maisky.
AUDIOFON RECORDINGS OF NELSON FREIRE:
Mozart - Sonata No. 11, K. 331
Chopin - Impromptu, Scherzo, Mazurkas
Villa-Lobos - Próle do bébé
Albeniz-Godowsky - Tango
Other Audiofon Recording Artists:
David Bar-Illan - Lazar Berman - Janet Colburn - Ivan Davis - William De Rosa
Sixten Ehrling - Joseph Kalichstein - Markus Klinko - Li Jian
Seymour Lipkin - Valentina Lisitsa - Valentina Lisitsa & Alexei Kuznetsoff - Aaron Rosand
Leonard Shure - David Tanenbaum - Richard Tetley-Kardos - Earl Wild