Ivo Pogorelich, a legendary pianist who created a sensation with his performances in all the great concert halls throughout the world, was born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1958. At age seven Ivo began his professional piano studies in his native city and at 12 went to Moscow's Central Music School and later entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
Since 1976 Ivo Pogorelich studied with the distinguished pianist and teacher Aliza Kezeradze whom he married in 1980.
In 1978 Ivo Pogorelich won the Casagrande International Competition in Terni, Italy and in 1980 was the First Prize winner at the Montreal International Music Competition. However, what made Ivo Pogorelich famous was the prize he failed to win: his elimination in the third round of the 1980 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw ignited a stern controversy that made Ivo Pogorelich the center of the musical world attention. Martha Argerich called Ivo Pogorelich "a genius" and left the jury in protest.