The Croatian1 pianist, Ivo Pogorelich [Pogorelić], received his first piano lessons in Belgrade when he was seven. Five years later, he was invited to Moscow to continue his studies at the Central Music School with Evgeny Timakin. Later he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. In 1976 he began studying intensively with the pianist and teacher Aliza Kezeradze, who passed on to him the tradition of the Liszt-Siloti school. They were married from 1980 until her death in 1996. He won the Casagrande Competition in Terni, Italy in 1978 and the Montreal International Music Competition in 1980. However he became famous for the prize he didn't win. In 1980 he entered the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw and was eliminated in the third round. The Argentine pianist Martha Argerich proclaimed him a genius and left the jury in protest.
Ivo Pogorelich gave his debut recital in New York's Carnegie Hall in 1981. He debuted in London the same year. Since then, he has created a sensation with his performances in all the great concert halls throughout the world: in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, South America and Israel. He has played many solo recitals worldwide and has played with some of the world's leading orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, the Orchestre de Paris and many others. Wherver and whenever he plays, his stunning interpretations of the music confirm the originality of his talent and intellect. The New York Times once wrote, "He played each note exactly, with such feeling, such expression. He was an entire orchestra"
During October and November of 2005-2006 season, Ivo Pogorelich appeard in an extensive tour of the Far East, playing in Kuala Lumpur, Korea, Macau, Taipei, Beijing and Tokyo. During the balance of the 2005-2006 season he toured various countries in Europe. In the fall of 2006 he returned to North America for his regular tour, followed by concerts in the capital cities of South America, Australia and New Zealand.
Ivo Pogorelich gives much back to the community by supporting many young musicians. In 1986 he established a foundation in Croatia to further the careers of young performers from his homeland. Since 1989, the annual Ivo Pogorelich Festival in Bad Wörishofen has taken place. The aim of the festival is to support promising young musicians at the beginning of their careers by giving them the opportunity of performing together with renowned artists. In December 1993, he founded the "International Solo Piano Competition" in conjunction with the Ambassador Foundation in Pasadena, California. Its mission is to help young musicians develop their career with the first prize of USD 100,000. 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. Numerous concerts are being planned over the next several years under the auspices of UNESCO. 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.
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. His most recent CD, released in 2002, is of the Chopin Piano Sonata No.2, Ravel Gaspard de la Nuit and the Prokofiev Piano Sonata No.6.