Guest Artist Joaquin Achucarro
Described as "The Consummate Artist," internationally renowned Spanish pianist Joaquin Achucarro was set to return to the MostArts Festival in 2020! Audiences would have had an opportunity to hear Achucarro in Manuel de Falla's "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the MostArts Festival Orchestra under the direction of Yuval Zaliouk on Saturday, July 18th had the Festival not been cancelled.
In October 2015, the prestigious French Magazine Diapason selected one of Achucarro’s recordings as one of "The 100 Most Beautiful Piano Recordings of all Time," together with legends such as Rachmaninoff, Horowitz, Rubinstein, Gieseking, Cortot, Richter, Gould, Arrau, Brendel, Argerich, Zimerman or Pollini.
Joaquin Achucarro has been described by the Chicago Sun Times as "The Consummate Artist." His impeccable and modelic artistic career has earned him a reputation of the highest degree both nationally and internationally.
Born in Bilbao, he won in his student days a number of International Prizes in Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland, but it was his victory in England at the 1959 Liverpool International Competition (one year after Zubin Mehta had won it as conductor) and the rave reviews in the London papers after his debut with the London Symphony in the Royal Festival Hall that marked the beginning of his career.
Since then, Achucarro has been enjoying an uninterrupted international career touring 61 countries performing in venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, Kennedy Center, Musikverein, Royal Albert Hall, Salle Gaveau, Salle Pleyel, Teatro alla Scala, Suntory Hall, Sydney Opera House, Teatro Colon and The Barbican both playing recitals and as soloist with over two hundred different orchestras including: Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, La Scala of Milan, London Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Sta Cecilia di Roma, RTE Ireland, BBC Symphony, Philharmonia, Royal Scottish, City of Birmingham, Hallé, National de France, Yomiuri, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, RIAS Berlin, Tonkunstler Wien, Nacional de Chile, de Mexico, de Colombia, de Venezuela and, of course, every Spanish Orchestra, under more than 350 conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Sir Adrian Boult, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Zubin Mehta, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle.
He was named "Artist for Peace" in 2000 by the UNESCO in Paris in recognition of "his extraordinary artistic achievement." He is Accademico ad Honorem of the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and in his home country, Achucarro has received the highest honors in the Arts: the Gold Medal of Fine Arts, The National Award for Music and in 2003, King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed upon him the Great Cross of Civil Merit.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) named the miniplanet 2131 under Achucarro's name as a tribute to his successful international career.
His DVD/Blu-ray "Achucarro Plays Brahms," with Brahms n.2 piano concerto under Sir Colin Davis and London Symphony (Opus Arte), obtained 5 stars all over Europe, being "Editor's Choice" of Classic FM Magazine and rated "Outstanding" by the IInternational Record Review (both in London), immediately climbing to the top of the Bestsellers and Hot New Releases charts on Amazon.
A few months later, EuroArts released Achucarro's new DVD/Blu-ray "Falla and Friends" playing Falla Nights in the Garden of Spain with Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle at the Philarmonie Hall in Berlin, also received with great acclaim.
Last year, Sony has reissued his famous Goyescas by Granados and his Falla CD with London Symphony and conductor Eduardo Mata.
Achucarro rewrote and recorded also for Sony his own revision of Joaquin Rodrigo's Piano Concerto. He has prize-winning recordings of de Falla, Granados, Ravel and Brahms with BMG-RCA, Claves and Ensayo. Other recordings include music by Schumann, Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy, Bartok, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Turina and Hermann.
Since August 1989 he holds the Tate Chair at Southern Methodist University in Dallas adjusting his teaching periods to his busy concert schedule.
In 2008, the "Joaquin Achucarro Foundation" was created by a group of individuals and institutions from the Dallas community "to perpetuate his artistic and teaching legacy" and to help young pianists at the outset of their careers.
In 1968 I conducted the Royal Ballet Company of London which toured Europe with Magot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. The tour brought us to the famous Granada Festival in Spain where I met Joaquin Achucarro for the first time. He was also performing at the Festival. His playing was magnificent and unforgettable. This was the beginning a wonderful friendship and of many opportunities to play together. Since then, I have had the privilege, honor and pleasure to perform with Joaquin Achucarro in Spain, Israel, England, Wales, Denmark and of course in Toledo Ohio during my tenure as Music Director of the Toledo Symphony.
Joaquin Achucarro is a great master of the piano and a great musician, together with some of the greatest pianists of our time. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to join him yet again, this time on the stage of the ever more significant MostArts Festival.
Joaquin Acucarro is without a doubt the greatest living Spanish pianist.