Born in Boa Esperança, a small town in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Nelson Freire is a universally acclaimed artist. He has received international honours and decorations, and regularly collaborates with top orchestras, conductors, and recital halls worldwide.
At twelve, a finalist at the first International Piano Competition of Rio de Janeiro, he received a grant from Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek and went to study in Vienna under Bruno Seidlhofer, teacher of Friedrich Gulda. At nineteen, Freire was awarded the Dinu Lipatti Medal in London and later won 1st Prize at the International Vianna da Motta Competition in Lisbon.
At twenty-three for his London debut, he made a sensation when The Times called him “The young lion of the keyboard”. The following year, after his New York debut with the New York Philharmonic, Time Magazine hailed him as “One of the most exciting pianists of this or any age”.
Ever since, Nelson Freire has performed with many of the world's major conductors, such as Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Eugen Jochum, André Previn, Lorin Maazel, Rudolf Kempe, Rafael Kubelik, David Zinman, Kurt Masur and Sir Colin Davis. He has appeared with the greatest orchestras: the Philharmonics of Berlin, London, New York and Israel, as well with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Leipzig Gewandhaus and the orchestras of Munich, Paris, Tokyo, and St. Petersburg including the Mariinsky - Vienna, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Chicago and Montreal.