Gabriela Montero, piano & composer
David Danzmayr, conductor
Gabriela Montero’s visionary interpretations and unique compositional gifts have garnered her critical acclaim and a devoted following on the world stage. Anthony Tommasini remarked in The New York Times that “Montero’s playing had everything: crackling rhythmic brio, subtle shadings, steely power…soulful lyricism…unsentimental expressivity.”
Recipient of the prestigious 2018 Heidelberger Frühling Music Prize, Montero’s recent and forthcoming highlights include debuts with the San Francisco Symphony (Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla), New World Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas), Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Tokyo (Aziz Shokhakimov), Belgian National Orchestra (Hugh Wolff), and the Bournemouth Symphony (Carlos Miguel Prieto). Montero also recently made debut and return performances at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and the Edinburgh Festival, respectively, performing her own “Latin” Concerto with the Orchestra of the Americas. Additional highlights include a recital at London’s LSO St Luke’s, a repeat tour with the Scottish Ensemble, this time featuring Montero’s latest composition Babel, and her long-awaited return to Warsaw for the Chopin in Europe Festival, marking 22 years since her prize win at the International Chopin Piano Competition. Montero also recently re-joined forces with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony, Jaime Martin and the Orquestra de Cadaqués for concerts in Madrid and Barcelona, and Alexander Shelley and the São Paolo Symphony.
Celebrated for her exceptional musicality and ability to improvise, Montero has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras to date, including: the Royal Liverpool, Rotterdam, Dresden, Oslo, Vienna Radio, and Netherlands Radio philharmonic orchestras; the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and Australian Chamber Orchestra; the Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, Toronto, Baltimore, Vienna, City of Birmingham, Barcelona, Lucerne, and Sydney symphony orchestras; the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, and the Cleveland Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, and Residentie Orkest.
A graduate and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Montero is also a frequent recitalist and chamber musician, having given concerts at such distinguished venues as the Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Cologne Philharmonie, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Sydney Opera House, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Lisbon Gulbenkian Museum, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Seoul’s LG Arts Centre, Hong Kong City Hall, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, and at the Barbican’s ‘Sound Unbound’, Edinburgh, Salzburg, SettembreMusica in Milan and Turin, Lucerne, Ravinia, Gstaad, Saint-Denis, Violon sur le Sable, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Rheingau, Ruhr, Trondheim, Bergen, and Lugano festivals.
Montero is also an award-winning and bestselling recording artist. Her most recent album, released in summer 2015 on the Orchid Classics label, featured Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and her first orchestral composition, Ex Patria, winning Montero her first Latin Grammy® for Best Classical Album (Mejor Álbum de Música Clásica). Previous recordings include Bach and Beyond, which held the top spot on the Billboard Classical Charts for several months and garnered her two Echo Klassik Awards: the 2006 Keyboard Instrumentalist of the Year and 2007 Award for Classical Music without Borders. In 2008, she also received a Grammy® nomination for her album Baroque, and in 2010 she released Solatino, a recording inspired by her Venezuelan homeland and devoted to works by Latin American composers.
Montero made her formal debut as a composer with Ex Patria, a tone poem designed to illustrate and protest Venezuela’s descent into lawlessness, corruption, and violence. The piece was premiered in 2011 by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Montero’s first full-length composition, Piano Concerto No. 1, the “Latin“ Concerto, was first performed at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with the MDR Sinfonieorchester and Kristjan Järvi, and subsequently recorded and filmed with the Orchestra of the Americas for the ARTE Konzert channel.
A committed advocate for human rights, whose voice regularly reaches beyond the concert hall, Montero was named an Honorary Consul by Amnesty International in 2015, and recognized with Outstanding Work in the Field of Human Rights by the Human Rights Foundation for her ongoing commitment to human rights advocacy in Venezuela. She was invited to participate in the 2013 Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre, and has spoken and performed twice at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters. She was also awarded the 2012 Rockefeller Award for her contribution to the arts and was a featured performer at Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Inauguration.
Born in Venezuela, Montero started her piano studies at age four with Lyl Tiempo, making her concerto debut at age eight in her hometown of Caracas. This led to a scholarship from the government to study privately in the USA and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Hamish Milne.Back