Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 | Martha Argerich, Charles Dutoit & the Verbier Festival Orchestra

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The very first bars of this piano concerto are so distinctive that they will remain in the listener's memory forever. Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 is recognizable and catchy. Charismatic piano virtuoso Martha Argerich lends an elegant lightness to this impressive piece. Conducted by Charles Dutoit, Argerich performed with the Verbier Festival Orchestra at the Verbier Festival in 2014.

(00:00) Coming on stage
(00:18) I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso
(20:36) II. Andantino semplice
(27:38) III. Allegro con fuoco

(35:53) Encore: Robert Schumann: “Scenes from Childhood,” Op. 15, No. 1

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is considered the most important Russian composer of the 19th century. He was born in 1840 in Votkinsk and studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Anton Rubinstein from 1862. His compositions combined Russian folk music with western music influences. Tchaikovsky wrote several symphonies and operas, as well as "The Nutcracker" and "Swan Lake," the most famous ballets in music history.

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op, 23 is considered one of the most popular piano works to this day. Tchaikovsky completed it in 1875, the same year it premiered in Boston. With its concise, rhythmic runs and its focused energy, it thrilled audiences then as it does today.

Argentine-Swiss pianist Martha Argerich is considered a "lioness of piano." Born in Buenos Aires in 1941, she moved to Europe with her family in 1955. Argerich gave her first concert at the age of seven. In 1965, as a young woman, she won the legendary International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, which was considered a sensation at the time and helped her rise to stardom. Since then, she has played with leading orchestras in the most renowned concert halls in the world. In 2005, she received the acclaimed and prestigious "Praemium Imperiale." Marta Argerich is considered a living musical legend.

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1936, conductor Charles Dutoit has had a stellar musical career. He has conducted more than 150 orchestras over the span of his long career. In 1977, he became the artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and recorded more than 80 CDs. Dutoit and Argerich were married for several years. In 2017/18 Charles Dutoit faced #MeToo allegations and was the center of sexual harassment scandal which led to several orchestras cutting ties with the star conductor.

The Verbier Festival Orchestra is made up of highly talented young musicians and was founded in 2000. It offers young artists the opportunity to gain concert experience under the direction of leading conductors.

The Verbier Festival is considered the summit meeting of classical music stars. It has been held once a year in the Swiss Alps since 1994. In addition to the extensive concert program, the festival offers up-and-coming artists an opportunity to work with the very great artists of the classical music scene. Martha Argerich is a regular guest at the festival.

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