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October
World renowned pianist Pires to perform in Hong Kong
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Internationally renowned pianist Maria Joao Pires will perform in Hong Kong next month (November).

Featuring Ginastera's "Three Argentinian Dances"; Scarlatti's "Sonata in A"; Schubert's "Sonata in A" and "Impromptus in A-flat" and Beethoven's "Sonata No 31 in A-flat", the recital will be held at 8pm, Thursday, November 8, at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Lisbon-born Maria Joao Pires began studying piano at an early age. At nine she received Portugal's top prize for young musicians. Between 1953 and 1960 Pires studied with Professor Campos Coelho at the Lisbon Conservatory, and also took courses in composition, theory and history of music with Francine Benoit. She continued her studies in Germany, first at the Musikakademie in Munich under Rosl Schmid, then in Hannover with Karl Engel.

Pires gained international recognition when winning the first prize in the 1970 Beethoven Bicentennial Competition in Brussels. Her debuts in London (1986) and New York (1989) were highly acclaimed by the media. In 1987 she appeared in Hamburg, Paris and Amsterdam during the inaugural tour of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra with Claudio Abbado. Pires is a regular guest performer in Europe, Canada, Japan, Israel and the United States, appearing with major orchestras including Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. In recent years, she has been heard at major music festivals throughout the world.

In addition to pursuing her career as a soloist and recitalist, Pires is an avid performer of chamber music. Since 1989 she has worked with French violinist Augustin Dumay and it was with him that she made her London debut. The two artists have also appeared together throughout Europe and visited Japan on an extended recital tour in autumn 1992 and summer 1994. Together with cellist Jian Wang, they toured in the Far East during autumn 1998.

Since 1970 Pires has dedicated herself to the study of influence of art on life, community and school. Her new communication process research stresses on respecting personal development as a measure to counter the destruction of materialism caused by globalisation.

She founded the "Belgais", a centre for the study of the arts in 1999 and is now taking the philosophy and teaching of "Belgais" to Salamanca in Spain and Bahia in Brazil. In 2005 she set up the "Art Impressions", an experimental group of theatre, dance and music.

Being one of this year's "Encore Series" programmes, "Piano recital by Maria Joao Pires" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Tickets priced at $120, $220, $320 and $420 are now available at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

For enquiries about the programme, call 2268 7321 or visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at http://www.urbtix.hk .

Ends/Friday, October 5, 2007
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