Nelson Goerner

May 9, 1969 - San Pedro (Argentina)

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The name Nelson Goerner is already firmly established as one of the most remarkable pianists of his generation. Born in 1969 in San Pedro in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he revealed his exceptional gifts very early on by teaching himself to read and write before the age of three.

His family – whose diverse origins include Sudeten Germany, Italy, Spain and Bolivia – was not a musical one and there was no school of music and no musical life in their town. When Nelson displayed a lively interest in music at an early age, the local piano teacher advised his parents to take him to the National Conservatoire in Buenos Aires, where he met Jorge Garrubba, a pupil of the illustrious Vincenzo Scaramuzza, who became his private teacher until the age of 13 and under whose direction he gave his first recital at age 11.

At this stage his piano lessons tended to be few and far between because he still lived in San Pedro, a considerable distance away, After Jorge Garrubba’s death, he was taught by Juan Carlos Arabian, under whose direction he began to appear in public regularly and, in 1986, was awarded 1st prize at the Buenos Aires Franz Liszt piano competition, which allowed him to make his debut with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra at the Teatro Colon. The same year he changed teachers, starting to work with Carmen Scalcione, who had been a favourite pupil of Vincenzo Scaramuzza’s and whose influence upon his musical development proved decisive.

He continued to appear in public in Argentina and, following a meeting with Martha Argerich, received a joint scholarship from the CIMAE Foundation’s Council for Art and Science and the Mozarteum Argentino, which enabled him to travel to Europe, where his meeting with Maria Tipo - the other key meeting of his musical life - took place. He took her post-graduate classes at the Geneva Conservatoire, receiving a First Prize with distinction in 1990 and, the same year, winning the Geneva International Musical Execution Competition, a success which opened the doors wide to an international career.

Since then, Nelson Goerner has given recitals in the world’s most prestigious concert halls: the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls in London, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Muenchner Herkulessaal, the Sala Verdi in Milan and others. He has been invited to many festivals including Lucerne, La Roque d’Anthéron, La Grange de Meslay (where he replaced Svyatoslav Richter at a moment’s notice), BBC Proms, Aldeburgh and Salzburg. Orchestras he has played with include the Philarmonia, the LPO, the BBC Philharmonic, the Halle Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Orchestro del Maggio Musicale di Firenze, the Orchestre National de France, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig MDR, Hannover NDR, DSO Berlin, Warsaw National Philharmonic and Sinfonia Varsovia, Tokyo NHK Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

He has played under the direction of prestigious conductors including Armin Jordan, Jakov Kreizberg, Fabio Luisi, Andrew Davis, Emmanuel Krivine, Claus Peter Flor, Neeme Järvi, Kazimierz Kord and John Neschling. In chamber music he has played with the Takacs Quartet, Steven Isserlis and Vadim Repin on the occasion of the Tanayev Festival in London. He has also played with the cellist Gary Hoffman and the mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch and on two pianos with Alexander Rabinovich, Martha Argerich and Rusudan Alavidye, his wife. Future appearances include return invitations to the Verbier and Schleswig-Holstein festivals, the London Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Vienna Musikverein, the Auckland Philharmonic, the Pamplona Orquesta Sinfonica Pablo Sarasate, as well as recitals in Paris, Geneva, Warsaw and Buenos Aires. His discography includes a Chopin CD at EMI Classics and works by Rachmaninov, Liszt and Schumann at Cascavelle. Other recordings are planned.