. Interchanging Idioms: Venezuelan-American pianist Gabriela Montero Debuts with Seattle and Detroit Symphony Orchestras

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Venezuelan-American pianist Gabriela Montero Debuts with Seattle and Detroit Symphony Orchestras

This promises to be a groundbreaking season for Venezuelan-American pianist Gabriela Montero, as she continues to impress, delight and make new fans in performances with major orchestras and in chamber and solo recitals. Already an artist in demand, Montero spends her 2009-10 season exploring some of the keyboard’s most celebrated repertoire while taking audiences on a uniquely stimulating journey with her trademark improvisations. Her season kicks off with the opening-night gala concert of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; in other highlights she makes two important debuts with American orchestras, and performs a series of recitals around North America including a stop in Georgia at the widely eclectic and celebrated Savannah Music Festival.

Montero begins her season opening the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s, in a gala concert led by conductor Raymond Leppard. On this program of American music, Montero will play George Gershwin’s beloved Rhapsody In Blue. When she performed this work last season with the orchestra, the Indianapolis Star reported that she “phrased like a singer. She never lost sight of Gershwin's genius as a songwriter and his empowering spontaneity of expression.” Montero will also perform John Williams’s Air and Simple Gifts, a chamber piece that she premiered at Barack Obama’s inauguration with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham will join Montero and the orchestra in the gala concert on September 25 (to be repeated the following evening) when he narrates Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.

This season, Gabriela Montero makes two important debuts with American orchestras. First she will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Arild Remmereit. In February, Montero makes her debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra when she joins conductor Thomas Wilkins for performances of Grieg’s evergreen Piano Concerto – and offers up several improvisations for dessert. Her U.S. orchestral engagements also include a return visit to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in April, when she will play Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

In both the fall and the spring, Montero will give a series of solo recitals in the U.S. and Canada , including performances in March at the Savannah Music Festival. On March 24, she will play a program of solo piano works, and the following day she will present a chamber music recital with French cellist Gautier Capuçon, Montero’s friend and frequent collaborator. Montero should fit in well at the eclectic festival, which is celebrated for its adventurous and genre-mashing programs. In addition to her performances in North America, Montero continues to have a busy schedule in Europe . In February, she will be in the Netherlands for four performances of Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and conductor James Gaffigan. A month later, Montero will be back in Europe to work with celebrated violinist Gidon Kremer and his chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica. Another highlight of Montero’s season will be a European recital tour in May with Gautier Capuçon.

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