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Why I love Martha Argerich so much. (Part Two)

Why I love Martha Argerich so much. (Part Two)

It was May 2004. Once again, I was in Como. I discovered from my friends that Martha was playing in Milan, which quite close to Como. We took a car and we went to the concert. She played Ravel Concerto in G. Heavenly, as usual. I don’t remember how but after the concert we accidentally ended up having dinner at the same restaurant as Martha. After the dinner, I went to greet her and… she was so happy to see me! She started asking me a lot of questions: how did I feel after the competition, how was I doing with my career, what were my plans for the future. I told her the truth: I didn’t have so many concerts in my schedule and I was quite concerned about my future, especially because I came from a family which was not wealthy at all.

“What are you doing next month?”, she asked me.

“Nothing special”, I replied, since I really had no plans for June.

“I would like you to be my guest in Lugano, during the Project”, she said.

I was amazed. She gave me the opportunity to be at the Martha Argerich Project in Lugano… Even if I wasn’t going to perform there, I was so excited to stay close to her and to see so many beautiful concerts.

“I’ll be there!”, I replied with no doubts. She gave me the phone number of Carlo Piccardi, the Artistic Director of the Festival. I had to call him before going to arrange my accommodation in Lugano.

A couple of weeks after my casual meeting with Martha, I called Piccardi and told him that Martha gave me his number and that I needed to be accommodated in Lugano. He probably believed I was joking because he told me he would call me back and he never did. So, a couple of days later, I took my phone and called him again.

“I am sorry but I cannot attend you at the moment. I’m in the car with Martha and I have no time for that now”

That was, more or less, the answer I got from him. Very discouraged, I decided to give up. Thirty minutes later, I received an email from Piccardi where he invited me to Lugano. Martha told him about me and he arranged a bed for me at her place. I couldn’t believe it!

Two days later I was in Lugano. I arrived at the concert venue and I introduce myself to Piccardi.

“Take this” he said, giving me a bunch of scores, “Martha told me that she would like you to perform these pieces”.

Years later, I discovered that my friend Mauricio told Martha that it would be nice if I would be the one to replace him in that performance. I would never be enough grateful to both of them for the wonderful opportunity.

My adventure in Lugano started with Alexander Rabinovitch’s arrangements of some popular arias by Lehar and Strauss Jr. I will never forget that!