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He received his early musical education from his mother, Ada Estades, on the piano and his aunt, Olga Pierri, on the guitar. Later he studied with Abel Carlevaro, the composer Guido Santórsola and also at the Uruguayan National Institute of Musicology.
From the age of 11 he was already winning prizes in international guitar competitions, including 1st Prize in the International Guitar Competition in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1st Prize in the International Guitar Competition in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and the Gold Medal at the 18th International Competition by France Musique/Radio France in Paris.
Pierri′s debut in the USA took place in New York and received outstanding reviews: ... ”Mr. Pierri revealed an artistic maturity not commonly encountered” ... ”compared to artists as Segovia, Bream, Williams” ... ”brilliant, sensitive, versatile, breathtaking” (New York Times & Continental Reviews). In 1983 he made his debut in Germany with the string soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and he subsequently appeared on numerous radio and television programmes produced by the German, Austrian, Danish, Spanish, French, Canadian, Korean and Japanese Radios.
As a musician popular with both the public and the critics, Pierri is a regular guest at the major concert halls of Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Contemporary composers such as Leo Brouwer, Guido Santorsola, Jacques Hétu, Astor Piazzolla, Abel Carlevaro, Carlo Domeniconi and Terry Riley have written major works for Alvaro Pierri, in each case, he has premiered them brilliantly.
His manifest love of chamber music has resulted in collaborations with major musical figures including Astor Piazzolla, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Ernö Sebestien, Regis Pasquier, Hatto Beyerle, Philippe Müller, Leo Brouwer, Alcides Lanza, Terry Riley, Tracy Silverman, Maureen Forrester, Eduardo Fernandez, the Cherubini Quartet and the Turtle Island String Quartet, and he has also worked with conductors such as Pinchas Steinberg, Charles Dutoit, Wojciech Rajski, Mario Bernardi and Yannick Nezet-Séguin.
Alvaro Pierri′s CDs have been released by Metropole-Polydor (France), Blue Angel-2001 (Germany), Milan Records (Canada), Analekta (Canada), Amplitude (Canada), Madacy (Canada), HOMA (Japan) and Alpha Omega (Hong Kong). His discography includes solo recordings, chamber music, guitar concerts and electro-acoustic music. Several of his CDs have been honoured with prices and nominations, he received already twice the coveted Canadian FELIX award for the best classical CD of the year. Recently "Pioneer Classics Japan" brought out a DVD featuring Spanish and South American guitar music, and "Deutsche Grammophon" re-published a DVD with Astor Piazzolla's Double Concerto, Alvaro Pierri performing in duo with Astor Piazzolla.
Alvaro Pierri is also an internationally acclaimed teacher. Many of his students have won major international guitar competitions. He was professor at the University of Santa Maria in Brazil and subsequently ran a guitar class at McGill University and the UQAM (Academy of Music) in Montreal. In 2002 he was appointed professor at the famous Academy of music in Vienna (today University of Music and Performing Arts).
Pierri gives master classes at major music festivals such as the New York Manhattan Masters, GFA Guitar Foundation of America, Québec FIG, the SIG Séminaire International de Guitare in Paris and Bordeaux, in Barcelona, at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, the Wiener Meisterkurse, the Villa Musica in Mainz, and in Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, and Hong Kong a. o.
- Summerfield, Maurice J. (June 1991). The classical guitar: its evolution and its players since 1800. Ashley Mark. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-872639-00-0. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- Official Website of Álvaro Pierri
- Info at Classical Concert Nimbler
- Chithara: Interview mit Álvaro Pierri (deutsch)