Ivo Pogorelich was born in Belgrade in 1958. He received his first piano lessons at the age of seven, went to Moscow at the age of twelve to study at the Central Music School and then at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 1976 he began intensive studies with the renowned pianist and teacher Aliza Kezeradze with whom he was married from 1980 until her premature death in 1996. Ivo Pogorelich won the Casagrande Competition in Terni (Italy) in 1978 and the Montreal International Music Competition in 1980. But it was the prize he failed to win that made him world-famous: in 1980 he entered the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw where his elimination in the third round sparked a fierce controversy which drew the attention of the whole musical world to the pianist. Martha Argerich called him a genius and left the jury in protest.
His debuts in London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Tel Aviv and New York’s Carnegie Hall are legend. He performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, all London orchestras, Tonhalle Zurich, Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic to name just a few. The New York Times once wrote: "he played each note exactly, with such feeling, such expression. He was an entire orchestra".
Pogorelich supports young musicians. In 1986 he established a foundation in Croatia to raise funds for scholarships for young artists. Since 1989 the annual Ivo Pogorelich Festival has the aim of supporting promising young musicians at the beginning of their careers by giving them the opportunity to perform together with renowned artists. In 1994 the pianist set up a foundation in Sarajevo to raise money to build a hospital and to provide medical support for the people of Sarajevo. Ivo Pogorelich also gives many charity concerts in support of, for example, the Red Cross, the rebuilding of Sarajevo, or the fight against illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. In 1988 he was named an "Ambassador of Goodwill" by UNESCO.
After a more silent period, he returned to Warsaw in 2007 for a celebrated recital. He performed there again in August and October 2008. In 2008/2009 he performed in Lisbon, Istanbul, Athens, Monte Carlo, Paris, Vienna, Baden-Baden, Klavierfestival Ruhr and Edinburgh Festival to name just a few. In fall 2009 he was invited to Montreux and toured Brazil. Other Engagements included concerts and recitals in Milan, Dublin, London, Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Salzburg Festival and tours to Taiwan, Japan and South America.
In the season 2010/2011 Ivo Pogorelich performes together with the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and is invited for concerts in Munich, Zurich, Paris, Budapest and two recitals in Mexico. Furthermore a tour through Europe with the Philharmonia Orchestra take place in cities like London, Valladolid, Cologne, Berlin and Düsseldorf.
Ivo Pogorelich became an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist in 1982. He has made over 15 recordings with DGG, such as Mozart Piano Sonatas, Bach Suites, Liszt and Scriabin Piano Sonatas and the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1. In 2006 the DGG started publishing this material on DVD, beginning with Bach, Scarlatti and Beethoven and will publishing further material over the next years.