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Possessor of undeniable international fame, the pianist Joaquín Achúcarro has performed in sixty countries with more than one hundred symphonic groups including the Philharmonics of Berlin, New York, Los Angeles and London, as well as with the La Scala Orchestra in Milan, the Symphony of Chicago, London Symphony and Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony – just to name a few – under the batons of the most important conductors in the world.

Along with his activity as a pianist, he finds time to perform in the double role of soloist and conductor with many chamber orchestras in Europe; Equally famous are his recitals heard on the main stages of the United States and the Old Continent. In his homeland, Spain, he has received the highest artistic honors. In 1992 the Spanish Government awarded him the National Music Prize and four years later he was knighted by King Juan Carlos with the Gold Medal for Fine Arts. He is also Commander of the Order of Isabella the Catholic and is a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. In 1997 he received the Larios Prize for musical excellence and also played during the inauguration of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. UNESCO named him an “Artist for Peace” in recognition of his “extraordinary artistic achievements”; and in 2003 the King of Spain awarded him the Grand Cross of Civil Merit as a tribute to his tireless career of practically a lifetime.

In February 2010, a DVD was released by the firm Opus Arte in which he performs the Second Brahms Concerto with the London Symphony conducted by Sir Colin Davis, in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Achúcarro's debut with said group; this video material also includes solo performances in the Goya Gallery of the Prado Museum in Madrid. At the end of 2011, his DVD was published with the Nights in the gardens of Spain with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle for the EuroArts label.

Achúcarro has played Grieg's Concerto on various occasions in Europe in recent years and in the United States he presented Falla's Noches en los Jardines de España; he also played with the Sydney Symphony in Australia under Gianluigi Gelmetti. On the other hand, he performed in various forums in Paris, both in recitals at the Musée d'Orsay and in a recital broadcast by Radio France live from the Sala Messiaen. His version of Ravel's Concerto in G opened the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and which he repeated with the Auvergne Orchestra in France, the National Orchestra of Spain, Rome, Kaiserslautern in Germany and other groups in Malaga, Bilbao and the Balearic Islands, as well as with the Vancouver Symphony, the Florida West Coast Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony.   


In 1997, at the express request of Joaquín Rodrigo, Achúcarro revised and recorded the author's Concierto heroico for Sony Classical. His discography includes Granados's Goyescas on BMG-RCA and Nights in the Gardens of Spain along with Falla's Harpsichord Concerto with the London Symphony and directed by Eduardo Mata. His records on the RCA, ETNOS and Yamaha labels include twenty titles with music by Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Ravel, Debussy, Chopin and Mussorgsky. For the firm Essay he recorded a complete album by Brahms, one more by Ravel, another called La Nuit  and the two Ravel Piano Concertos with the Basque National Symphony and director Gilbert Varga for the Claves firm. His album is about to be published with Bartók's Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Spanish RTV Symphony and director Miguel Gómez Martínez.


A native of Bilbao, and descendant of Grieg by his Norwegian great-grandfather, Joaquín Achúcarro showed his musical talent from a very young age, although continuing the family tradition in the field of Science, he entered the university to study physics. However, his musical preparation continued in parallel and he began to win first prizes in competitions such as the Gontaut Biron in Paris, the Geneva International and the Viotti held in Italy. His triumph at the Liverpool International Competition in 1959 (a year before Zubin Mehta won it as conductor) allowed him to make his debut with the London Symphony and formally begin his rising international career.

Since September 1989, Achúcarro has been on the faculty of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, as well as a visiting professor in the summers at the celebrated Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy.

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