Alberto Portugheis

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Born in La Plata, Argentina, to parents of Russian and Romanian descent, as well as being a Peace Campaigner, Alberto Portugheis is an international pianist and pedagogue. In parallel with his career on the concert platform he works for peace. His vision is to achieve a just and peaceful world, free of war. He works to inspire people to respect human life, which he sees as the first requisite for achieving Human Rights, Justice and Peace. He is in regular contact with people from many troubled areas - Palestine, Israel, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma, Iraq, several African and Latin American countries. Alberto Portugheis was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008.

Nobel's message was that a reduction in weapons would, in addition to helping the Peace cause, resolve a major source of pollution and depletion of the earth's resources. Alberto Portugheis goes further, campaigning for abolition of weapons. His work is first and foremost about achieving a world where conflict is resolved through dialogue, with respect for humanity. Death should only occur through age, ill health, accident or a natural phenomenon, not through bullets and bombs.

Daisaku Ikeda, the great Peace campaigner and President of the Buddhist Society, Soka Gakkai International, is an inspiration to Alberto Portugheis, who is also a Buddhist. He supports the work and ideas for Conflict Solution of the founder of Transcend, Johan Galtung, but goes a step further, stressing, ‘No matter how much we educate people to dialogue, by also providing them with weapons, this education becomes invalid.’ He supports all campaigns against nuclear arms, but is aware that the sophisticated conventional weaponry of today is almost as lethal. Portugheis also supports the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) but stresses that weapons are not made by Charities, but by companies that need to sell and trade them. He admires greatly and supports the work of his musician colleague, Daniel Barenboim, but from his personal experience of four decades of encouragement for Muslim and Jewish musicians to work together, it is clear that the results of these collaborations are far from the achievement of Peace

Alberto Portugheis embarked on his professional career after winning First Prize at the Geneva Concours de Virtuosité. He has visited almost 50 countries and performed as a soloist with many major orchestras across the world. He frequently broadcasts on radio and television and gives regular Master-Classes. His acclaimed recordings include masterpieces from a repertoire of music ranging from baroque to contemporary.

Alberto Portugheis is founder member and Vice-chairman of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, Vice-chairman of the International Society for the Study of Tension in Performance, Vice-president of the European Piano Teachers' Association, Founder and the first Chairman of the Iberian and Latin American Music Society and founder of the Asociacion Latino-Americana de Pianistas Pedagogos. Many of his peace ideas developed from his career in music. He belongs to many Peace Groups, including the European Network for Peace and Human Rights, Transcend, Sokka Gakai, the Ministry for Peace and the Peace & Dialogue Forum.

The message of Alberto Portugheis is not comfortable. It requires a total change of perspective. While organisations, like Amnesty International, all Human Rights groups and practically all politicians say the same, none of these organisations or people speak of a weapon free world. They all accept - and openly promote - the existence of weapons and Armed Forces, as a deterrent and as an endless source of income, both for those individuals directly involved as well as for the Treasuries of countries that produce and export. Kant wrote ‘
Dare to know. That is the motto of Enlightenment’. It is daring to know that has put Alberto Portugheis’ life at risk - uncomfortable knowledge is the fuel with which he campaigns to educate and to promote a world without war.