Born on 23 July 1944 in Lisbon, Maria João Pires gave her first public performance at the age of four and began her music and piano studies with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoît, later continuing them in Germany with Rosl Schmid and Karl Engel. In addition to giving concerts, she made recordings for Erato for fifteen years and for Deutsche Grammophon for twenty years.
Since 1970, Pires has devoted herself to studying the influence of art in life, community and education, trying to discover new ways of establishing this way of thinking in society. She has sought new ways that, while respecting the development of individuals and cultures, encourage the sharing of ideas.
In 1999, she created the Centre for the Arts in Belgrade in Portugal. Maria João Pires regularly offers interdisciplinary workshops for professional musicians and music lovers. Concerts and recordings are regularly held in the Belgais concert hall. In the future, these will be shared with the international digital community.
In 2012, she launched two complementary projects in Belgium: Partitura Choirs, a project that creates and develops choirs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds such as the "Hesperos Choir" in Belgium, and the Partitura Workshops. All Partitura projects aim to create an altruistic dynamic between artists of different generations, and offer an alternative in a world too often focused on competitiveness. This philosophy is now being taken up worldwide in the Partitura projects and workshops.