"I have rarely come across a talent like Gabriela's"
The famous Argentine pianist Martha Argerich said that about Gabriela Montero in 2004. The erstwhile child prodigy who has turned out to be “classical music’s special child” (SPIEGEL), recently performed once again at the Vienna Konzerthaus.
Ever since Gabriela Montero first encountered the piano, improvising has been an important component of her music-making: “Since improvisation is a significant part of my personality, I feel it to be a completely natural and spontaneous way of expressing myself. I have improvised ever since my hands first touched the piano, yet I kept this part of my work secret for many years. It was Martha Argerich, who heard me improvise and was enthusiastic about it, who convinced me that I ought to combine improvising with my career as a ‘classical’ artist.”
"I have been improvising since my hands first touched the keyboard."
International stage star
Gabriela Montero has celebrated major successes, with her New York Philharmonic debut, conducted by Lorin Maazel, as well as appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall, at the Ruhr Piano Festival, and many others.
Incidentally, in January Gabriela Montero played at the inauguration of US President Barack Obama in front of the Capitol in Washington, televised live internationally.
Gabriela Montero before her brilliance performance at the Vienna Konzerthaus
Standing ovations in Vienna
After her celebrated solo recital in April, Gabriela Montero recently performed Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15, together with the Vienna Symphony in Vienna’s Konzerthaus. And she could certainly be happy about the standing ovations that concluded two terrific piano performances.
A superbly tuned Bösendorfer grand was the instrument of choice, selected by the pianist during the rehearsals. It set the tone throughout Brahms’ passionate and difficult concerto, which had been premiered 150 years ago in the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Conductor Ion Marin, who courageously filled in for Fabio Luisi who had fallen ill, sensitively took care that the piano and orchestra, in a wonderful interplay and interaction, viscerally realized the many contrasts in Brahms’ notes -- now exuberance and bliss, now ceremonious gravity and sorrow.
Visionary interpretations and unique improvisational gifts have won her devoted following around the world.
The amazement did not want to end when the artist exhibited her special gift for improvisation in place of a traditional encore. She invited the orchestral musicians to play her a theme. Gabriela Montero then worked out this theme in an improvisation, technically perfectly, and proffered it to the audience as a musical tidbit.
Another improvisation, this time together with a violinist from the Vienna Symphony, also succeeded masterfully. The spontaneously formed duo, equally inspired by the sound of the piano, appeared to surpass themselves. No one could contain themselves any longer -- there were standing ovations! (rulö)
Artist and audience shared a good time together.
Standing ovations for Gabriela Montero at the Vienna Konzerthaus
"A Bösendorfer is like a friend: affectionate and faithful."
In a discussion with Bösendorfer Artist Relations Manager Mira Weihs, Gabriela Montero was pleased with such a beautiful sounding piano. “Bösendorfers ought to be played much more often in the concert halls. Their sound is something truly special. A Bösendorfer is like a friend: affectionate and faithful.”
Gabriela Montero: Brahms' Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 to be broadcast on Ö1 at 7:30 PM on May 28.
The artist in conversation with Bösendorfer Artist Relations Manager Mira Weihs