Maria João Pires



Maria João Pires, born in 1944 in Lisbon, played in public for the first time in 1948 and went on to study with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoît, and later with Rosl Schmid and Karl Engel.

In addition to her concerts, she recorded for Editions Erato for fifteen years and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon for twenty years.

Ms. Pires devotes herself to the consideration of art’s influence on life, the community and education, seeking to discover new ways to implement these teaching methods in society, through new forms of transmission that respect the development of the individual and of cultures.

She created the Centre for the Study of the Arts in Belgais in 1999, and promoted this philosophy in Salamanca and Bahia in Brazil.

In 2012, she joined the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and developed the Equinox project, devoted to the creation and development of choirs of children from underprivileged environments, and the Partitura Project, to create an altruistic dynamic between artists of different generations.

Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk at Shechen Monastery in Nepal.

He received a Ph.D. in Cellular Genetics at the Institut Pasteur in France under Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob.

He has lived in the Himalayas since 1972, studying with Kangyur Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, two respected Tibetan spiritual masters. Since 1989, he served as French interpreter for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

He is the author of The Monk and the Philosopher (with his father, the French thinker Jean-Francois Revel), The Quantum and the Lotus (with the astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan), Happiness, A guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill and Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World. He has translated several books from Tibetan, including The Life of Shabkar and The Heart of Compassion. As a photographer, he has published several albums, including The Spirit of Tibet, Buddhist Himalayas, and Motionless Journey.

He donates all proceeds from his books and much of his time to 140 humanitarian projects in Tibet, Nepal and India, through his charitable association Karuna-Shechen.