1 November 2021 – Decca Classics is deeply saddened by the news that Nelson Freire has passed away. He was a beloved artist and we have lost a dear friend. 

Nelson began recording exclusively for Decca Classics in 2001 and his discography was distinguished by numerous awards including Gramophone Record of the Year in 2007 for the Brahms Piano Concertos and the Latin Grammy for Best Classical Recording in 2013 for ‘Brasileiro’. Most recently he had recorded a 75th birthday album ‘Encores’ in 2019 which celebrated his life with a very personal collection of favourites, reaching all the way back to his first lessons with another legendary Brazilian pianist, Guiomar Novaes.

Dominic Fyfe, Decca Classics’ Label Director, was Nelson Freire’s recording producer from 2002. He writes: “Nelson was the consummate recording artist. He was more meticulously prepared for the studio than almost any artist I have encountered and his recordings among the least edited. Paradoxically he claimed never to listen to his own recordings but he knew when his performance matched his exacting standards and he placed his trust in our hands to capture this. We will miss him not just for his extraordinary artistry but also for his friendship, his humour, his humility. He was one of the greats and truly irreplaceable”.