‘...for those who value above all the intoxicating allure of these treasurable pieces, Pizarro has no rivals’ - International Record Review.
Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1968, Artur Pizarro gave his first public performance at the age of three and made his television début on Portuguese television at the age of four. He had been introduced to the instrument by his maternal grandmother, pianist Berta da Nóbrega, and her piano-duo partner, Campos Coelho, who was a student of Vianna da Motta, Ricardo Viñes and Isidor Philipp. From 1974 to 1990 Artur studied with Sequeira Costa who had also been a student of Vianna da Motta and of Mark Hamburg, Edwin Fischer, Marguerite Long and Jacques Février. This distinguished lineage immersed Artur in the tradition of the ‘Golden Age’ of pianism and gave him a broad education in both the German and French piano schools and repertoire. After initial studies in Lisbon, Artur moved to Lawrence, Kansas in the USA and continued working with Sequeira Costa who is Distinguished Professor of Piano at the University of Kansas. During a brief interruption of his studies in the USA, Artur also studied with Jorge Moyano in Lisbon, and in Paris worked with Aldo Ciccolini, Géry Moutier and Bruno Rigutto.
Artur began performing publicly again at the age of 13 with a recital début at the São Luíz Theatre in Lisbon and made his concerto debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra later in the same year. While still under the tutelage of Costa, Artur won first prizes in the 1987 Vianna da Motta Competition, the 1988 Greater Palm Beach Symphony Competition and won first prize at the 1990 Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, which marked the beginning of an international concert career.
Artur Pizarro performs internationally in recital, chamber music and with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Philippe Entremont, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Sir Andrew Davis, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Ilan Volkov, Franz Welser- Most, Tugan Sokhiev, Yakov Kreizberg, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Libor Pešek, Vladimir Jurowski and Sir Charles Mackerras.
Artur is an active chamber musician and has performed at chamber music festivals throughout the world. In 2005 he formed the Pizarro Trio with violinist Raphaël Oleg and cellist Josephine Knight. Artur also performs as a piano duo with Vita Panomariovaite. The duo released Rimsky-Korsakov – Piano Duos (Linn CKD 293) to great acclaim with BBC Online observing ‘...the two pianists respond with a unity that shimmers...’.
In February 2003 Artur Pizarro released Beethoven Piano Sonatas (Linn CKD 244) to outstanding critical acclaim: ‘Let no one say there is no room for another set of established masterpieces when the pianist is possessed with this sort of recreative energy and exuberance’ (Gramophone). After performing the cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas in the United States and twice in Portugal, Artur performed the cycle at St. John’s, Smith Square, London which was broadcast by BBC Radio 3. The cycle earned Artur a Royal Philharmonic Society nomination for ‘Best Series’.
In 2005 Artur released Reminiscences (Linn CKD 248), a collection of Chopin’s best loved works for solo piano and, in 2006, Artur released Chopin Piano Sonatas for Linn Records (Linn CKD 250). ‘The majestic Third Sonata can hardly be bettered and with the fine natural recorded sound we could very well have the Chopin release of the year’ (Pianist Magazine).
Throughout 2005-06 Artur dedicated himself to performing the complete solo works of Ravel and Debussy in England and Denmark. All six concerts in London were broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and Artur has recorded The Complete Piano Works of Maurice Ravel Vol. I and II for Linn Records (Linn CKD 290 and Linn CKD 315), ‘...for those who value above all the intoxicating allure of these treasurable pieces, Pizarro has no rivals’ - International Record Review.
With the Petersen Quartet, Artur recorded the Piano Quintet of César Franck on the Phoenix Edition label. This recording was CD of the Month in BBC Music Magazine (November 2008). For Naxos he recorded the complete solo piano works of Joaquín Rodrigo. Artur’s recordings of Franz Liszt’s complete Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano solo can be found on Brilliant Classics and for Hyperion Artur recorded the works of Vianna da Motta for piano and orchestra with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and the works for two pianos of Darius Milhaud with pianist Stephen Coombs.
In April 2009 Linn Records released Artur Pizarro’s recordings of Beethoven’s 3rd, 4th & 5th piano concertos with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. ‘I urge collectors to hear this outstanding new set, which is much helped by a spectacular recording that combines transparency and fullness of sound, and is enhanced by interesting booklet notes. I do hope that the same partnership might now give us the first two concertos, but in the meantime, this new release is a superb achievement, very warmly recommended’ International Record Review May 2009.
In 2010 Artur released Goysecas and the complete Iberia Linn CKD355 to outstanding international critical acclaim. ‘So these "Goya-like" works, inspired, as Granados wrote, by "the psychology of Goya and his palette", are love poems and Artur Pizarro captures their improvised, dreamlike quality to perfection with a golden tone and caressing touch’ Gramophone Magazine July 2010.
Throughout 2010 Artur performed an epic cycle of the complete solo piano works of Chopin at St John’s Smith Square in London. The 9 recitals marked the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth. Throughout 2010-11 Artur will repeat the cycle at the Belem Cultural Centre in Lisbon where he is the Artist in Residence.