Prof. Maestro Joao Carlos Martins
João Carlos Martins is an acclaimed Brazilian classical pianist and conductor, who has performed with leading orchestras in the United States, Europe and Brazil.
He is celebrated as a great interpreter of Bach and has recorded his complete keyboard works. For decades Martins has been engaged as the leading pianist at the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other ensembles. The New York Times wrote, "Maestro Martins has lived a life of renown, challenge, tenacity and triumph sufficient to fill a lively memoir".
Afflicted by injuries and setbacks throughout his mercurial career, Martins has shown remarkable perseverance and determination. While visiting Bulgaria, Martins was attacked by thugs, receiving injuries to his skull and brain, and lost the use of his right arm. After undergoing numerous treatments, including a new version of biofeedback therapy on his right arm, he played a triumphant comeback concert in Carnegie Hall in 1996, appearing as soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra, performing Ravel and Ginastera.
In early 2000, he undertook an unsuccessful operation in his right hand, which rendered his hand essentially useless. Instead of retiring completely from the piano, Martins continued to play using his left hand and one finger of the right hand.
After his career as a pianist finished due to problems which later developed in his left hand, he turned to conducting, despite very limited hand-movements. Since then he has led hundreds of performances worldwide including acclaimed concerts at Carnegie Hall.
He is a conductor at the English Chamber Orchestra and the Bachiana Filarmonica Orchestra. He also puts his energy into work with underprivileged children in Brazil. The charismatic Maestro at his piano tells his joyous story of always looking ahead at what’s next that will make a difference.