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She's a great performer who avoids the limelight. To celebrate Martha Argerich's 74th birthday, enjoy these rare pictures of her at work.
Born 5 June 1941, Martha Argerich rose to international prominence when she won the seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1965, at age 24. Here she is in London in 1971 and her Argentinian passion is irresistible. Photo: Jeremy Fletcher/Redferns
Martha Argerich, pictured circa 1968, three years after her US debut in the Lincoln Centre's Great Performers Series. Photo: Erich Auerbach/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
For more than 40 years, Argerich enjoyed a long and highly successful creative partnership with the great conductor. They are pictured here together in 1968. Photo: Erich Auerbach/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Photographed in February 1968, Argerich is seen once more with the late Claudio Abbado, then principal conductor of La Scala in Milan. Photo: Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
Argerich, pictured here in 1996, was cured of cancer in 1990. There was a recurrence in 1995. Aggressive treatment included the removal of part of her lung and use of an experimental vaccine. Photo: Bayat/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Argerich started playing the piano at age three. She gave her debut concert in 1949 at the age of eight. She was photographed here by her daughter Stephanie in 1999. Photo: EMI Classics/Stephanie Argerich
Argerich has often talked about feeling "lonely" on stage during solo performances. Since the 1980s, she has done few solo performances, concentrating instead on concertos and, in particular, chamber music, and accompanying instrumentalists in sonatas.
Argerich is noted especially for her recordings of works by Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Messiaen and Prokofiev. She is also famous for her interpretation of Bach's Partita No. 2 in C minor, which she has recorded several times. Here she is in rehearsal at Berlin's Philharmonic Hall, 14 September 2013. Photo: PA/Soeren Stache
Martha Argerich has also promoted younger pianists, both through her annual festival and through her appearances as a member of the jury at international competitions. Since 1996, she also created and has been General Director of the Argerich Music Festival and Encounter in Beppu, Japan.
Argerich has been married twice. From her first marriage to composer-conductor Robert Chen, she had a daughter, violinist Lyda Chen-Argerich. From 1969 to 1973, she was married to conductor Charles Dutoit, with whom she had a daughter, Annie Dutoit. She was also in a relationship with pianist Stephen Kovacevich, with whom she has a daughter, Stephanie. Photo: Adriano Heitman
Her aversion to the press and publicity has resulted in her remaining out of the limelight for most of her career. Nevertheless she is widely recognized as one of the greatest pianists of her time. Photo: Roberto Serra/Iguana Press/Getty Images.