Tamás Vásáry was born in Debrecen, Hungary. He was a child prodigy, making his debut at age 8 with a performance of Mozart's concerto in D major, K. 107. He studied briefly with Ernö Dohnányi, and then, at 14, won the first prize in the international Franz Liszt competition. Vásáry studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest with József Gat. Later at the Liszt Academy, Vásáry was an assistant to Zoltán Kodály, who was a mentor to the young pianist.
Martha Argerich was born in Buenos Aires. From the age of five, she took piano lessons with Vicenzo Scaramuzza. In 1955 she went to Europe with her family, and received tuition from Friedrich Gulda in Vienna; her teachers also included Nikita Magaloff and Stefan Askenase. Following her first prizes in the piano competitions in Bolzano and Geneva in 1957, she embarked on an intensive programme of concerts.
Cyprien Katsaris, the French-Cypriot pianist and composer, was born on May 5th 1951 in Marseilles. He first began to play the piano at the age of four, in Cameroon where he spent his childhood. His first teacher was Marie-Gabrielle Louwerse.
Nelson Freire has long been seen as a connoisseur’s pianist, but a series of superb recordings have raised his profile to the extent that he is now considered as one of today’s universally recognised great musicians. Whether playing the great warhorses of the repertoire or the gentlest miniatures, he brings to his performances a level of quiet thoughtfulness that puts him in a class of his own.