She made her first public performance at the age of seven with Mozart’s Piano Concertos in Oporto, Portugal. At the age of nine she received Portugal’s highest award for young musicians just one year later.
From 1953 until 1960 she stu¬died at the Lisbon Conservatory with Professor Campos Coelho and took courses in composition, theory, and history of music with Francine Benoit. She continued her studies in Germany, first at the Munich Music Academy with Rosl Schmid, then in Hanover with Karl Engel.
Maria João Pires has appeared all over the globe with all the major orchestras including the Berliner Philhar¬moniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, and the Wiener Philharmoniker. She is also a keen performer of chamber music.
In recent years she has been heard at all the major international festivals including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festi¬val, the Schubertiade, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Montpellier, Lucerne, Edinburgh and BBC Proms.