10 stunning live performances from 10 female pianists

04 March 2021
By Ellie Palmer
Celebrate International Women's Day – which takes place on 8 March – by enjoying 10 of the best live performances from 10 of history's best female pianists

1. Martha Argerich

Enjoy Argerich performing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1, conducted by Charles Dutoit, live with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in 1975.

What a delight.

Argerich appeared on the cover of issue 86 of Pianist.



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2. Helene Grimaud

The French pianist here performs the Bach arr. Busoni Chaconne in D minor.

As one of the top comments below the video says, "the introduction [to this work] never fails to rip your heart out." We can certainly agree with that.



3. Maria João Pires

A name most of us all know and love, Pires shot to fame when she won the Beethoven Bicentennial Competition in Brussels in 1970.

In this performance above, she plays Mozart's Piano Concerto No 9 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.



4. Beatrice Rana


The Italian is no stranger to Bach, whom she declares as one of her biggest heroes. Above, she plays his Piano Concerto in D minor BWV 1052 with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta.

Rana appeared on the cover of issue 87 of Pianist back in 2015.



5. Mitsuko Uchida

This video of the Japanese pianist not only performing but also CONDUCTING will go down as one of her greatest.

The passion depicted in this performance is something to truly admire.

Uchida plays and conducts Mozart's Concerto for piano and orchestra in D minor K466 alongside the Camerata Salzburg. 



6. Isata Kanneh-Mason

There are some stunning performances of Isata online, but we've decided to pick out this performance with family members filmed from their home. 

She was due to play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 3 at the Royal Albert Hall back in April 2020, but due to Coronavirus decided to perform a home version with four of her musical siblings: Braimah, Aminata, Jeneba and Sheku.

Isata appeared on the cover of issue 110 of Pianist.




7. Angela Hewitt


One can never listen to too much Bach when it’s played by Angela Hewitt!

Hewitt appeared on the cover of issue 66 of Pianist.



8. Yuja Wang


Cziffra's arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumble-Bee is one of the most technically demanding pieces in the piano repertoire.

Enjoy Yuja's sensational performance, recorded at Verbier Church, Switzerland, in 2008.

Wang appeared on the cover of issue 105 of Pianist.



9. Khatia Buniatishvili

The Georgian pianist gives a stunning performance of Rachmaninov's famous Piano Concerto No 2 accompanied by the Filarmonica Teatro Regio Torino.

Buniatishvili featured on the cover of issue 67 of Pianist.



10. Imogen Cooper

Last but by no means least, we celebrate Imogen Cooper; one of Britain's greatest pianists.

Here, she performs Schubert's Hungarian Melody in B minor D817 live at Kings Place, London, in 2009.


This year, International Women's Day 2021 aims to #choosetochallenge and call out gender bias and inequality. Find out more here.

Main image: Mitsuko Uchida ©Justin Pumfrey