Born in Bilbao, Joaquín Achúcarro won international awards in Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland during his years as a student, but it was his success in England, at the International Liverpool Competition of 1959, plus the enthusiastic reviews on his debut with the London Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall, the events that marked the beginning of his career.
Since then, Joaquín Achúcarro has kept an uninterrupted activity, having played in sixty countries offering recitals and performing as a soloist with more than two hundred orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, the Orchestras of London, BBC, Chicago, Sydney, La Scala de Milan, Sta. Cecilia de Roma, Yomiuri Orchestra, the Nationals of France, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, Orchestre de Montreal, RIAS Berlin, WDR Köln, Tonkünstler of Vienna, City of Birmingham, Hallé of Manchester, Royal Scottish and all the major Spanish orchestras, working with more than 350 conductors including Claudio Abbado, Sir Adrian Boult, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Zubin Mehta, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle.
In 2014, SONY reedited his famous CD of the complete Goyescas of Granados that Achúcarro recorded in London. In 2013 they published his CD with the Fantasie; Kreisleriana of Schumann which was awarded in Paris with the CHOC of CLASSICA, EL DIAPASON and the PIANISTE MAESTRO. His last DvD’s, one with Brahms Piano Concerto No.2 with the London Symphony and Sir Colin Davis, and the other with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir. Simon Rattle playing Nights in the Gardens of Spain got to the top sales of the chart on Amazon.com. By request of the composer Joaquín Rodrigo, Achúcarro rewrote and recorded for SONY his revision of his Piano Concerto. Previous recordings include Falla, Granados, Brahms and Ravel for RCA, Claves y Ensayo labels.
On the year 2000, he was distinguished as Artist for Peace by the UNESCO, in recognition to his «extraordinary artistic achievements». He is Accademico ad Honorem of the Accademia Chigiana of Siena (Italy), and in Spain, he has received the Gold Medal for Fine Arts and the National Music Award. In 2003, King Juan Carlos grants him the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit. In 2004 he was named “Son of the City of Bilbao”. Since August of 1989 he is the chair holder of the J. Estes Tate of the Southern Methodist University of Dallas (USA). In 2008, the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation was established in Dallas to perpetuate his artistic and educational legacy, helping young pianists on the beginnings of their careers.