Marco Antonio de Almeida, Pianist
Born in Brazil to a German-Russian mother and an Italian father, de Almeida took his first piano lessons from his sister and, at age 13, made his debut in São Paulo, playing Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto in D major (K. 537).
After graduating from medical school and completing his piano studies in Brazil, he received a German academic exchange scholarship to continue his studies under Prof. Yara Bernette at Hamburg University of Music and Theatre, where he graduated with honours. He also attended master classes by Paul Badura-Skoda, Christoph Eschenbach, Nikita Magaloff, Elgin Roth, Magda Tagliaferro and Carlo Zecchi.
After winning many national and international prizes, including the Brazilian Young Soloists in Rio de Janeiro, the Covilhã Piano Competition in Portugal (Gulbenkian Foundation Prize), the Viotti Competition in Italy and the International Gina Bachauer Competition in the USA, he embarked on an active concert and recording career.
As a Mozart interpreter he was invited to perform at prominent German music festivals such as the Würzburg Mozartfest, the Bad Kissingen Summer, the Ruhr Piano Festival and the Schwetzingen and Schleswig-Holstein festivals.
In addition to radio, TV and studio recordings, de Almeida has participated in chamber music recitals, given solo performances in Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia and North and South America, and concertised with leading orchestras. In the field of modern music, he gave the German premières of works by Benjamin Britten and the Brazilian composer Marlos Nobre and was the first musician since Heitor Villa Lobos to record that composer’s seminal piano piece, Choros No. 11.
De Almeida was invited to perform in Canada and Brazil to accompany state visits by Germany’s presidents Richard von Weizsäcker (1990) and Roman Herzog (1995). From 1990 to 1995 he was head of the Londrino International Music Festival (Brazil) and was again appointed its artistic director in 2005.
De Almeida has been a member of the German Society of Medicine and Performing Arts since 1995.
He has been professor of piano at the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre since 1982 and at the University of Halle-Wittenberg since 1996.