Daniel Barenboim, conductor
Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim, who have known each other since their childhood in Buenos Aires, have become a harmonious and extraordinary team as a result of many shared projects. On the occasion of Martha Argerich's 80th birthday, they will together present a programme of Schumann only at the Musikfest Berlin.
They have known each other since 1949. Martha Argerich was eight, Daniel Barenboim seven, when they met for the first time in the house of a musically educated businessman in their native city of Buenos Aires and played together – as children and little virtuosos. Later they went their own way but encountered each other time and again. In the last 15 years, they have frequently performed together – as a piano duo or with her as soloist and him conducting. To mark the 80th birthday of the pianist, who always succeeds in reconciling élan and meticulousness, stubbornness and precision from the intensity of the moment, they will perform together at the Musikfest Berlin with works by one of Martha Argerich's favourite composers: Robert Schumann. His piano concerto is a pièce de résistance in her repertoire. Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin will present it along with the German Romantic composer's First and Second Symphonies (which, according to their genesis, is actually the Third): the First Symphony is inspired by literature, which follows in the tradition of Schubert and Mendelssohn. In the Second Symphony in C major, contemporaries recognised not only the distinct references to Bach, but above all the continuation and completion of the Beethoven tradition.