Considered the most international and reputed Portuguese pianist, with an artistic path dating back to the late 1940s. With a life full of successes, Maria João Pires was chosen by the Portuguese Association of foreign press (AIEP) as personality of the year 2019. «The Association of foreign press in Portugal awarded its 30th Personality of the Year Award/Martha de la Cal to Maria João Pires», could be read in a statement released by AIEP. The announcement of the award, to be presented in 2020, took place at the Foz Palace in Lisbon. At the time, The President of AIEP, Levi Fernandes, said that the pianist «continues to be considered one of the most famous classical music performers in the world, continuing to have a great impact abroad».