The year 2009 has been a stellar and historic one for Gabriela Montero. It started on January 20 in Washington D.C. , when she performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and clarinetist Anthony McGill to a worldwide audience at President Obama’s inauguration. The excitement continues this summer as Montero makes debut performances at several of the world’s most prestigious festivals and orchestras, with performances in North America, South America, and Europe . Known for her ability to dazzle audiences in both traditional concert repertoire and with her trademark improvisations, Montero is sure to impress in a plethora of varied programs.
On Thursday, July 2, Montero makes her debut with the San Francisco Symphony. She will be the featured soloist in George Gershwin’s beloved Rhapsody in Blue under the baton of James Gaffigan, in a concert of music by American composers. True to her adventurous spirit, Montero will follow the Gershwin with an improvisation. For a theme on which to base it, she will turn to the audience for suggestions. Whatever they come up with, the results will be something not often experienced at Davies Symphony Hall!
Later in the month, Montero will travel back home to Venezuela , where she will join her fellow countryman and classical music superstar Gustavo Dudamel and the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. The concert will take place on July 17 at the Teatro Teresa Carreño in Caracas.
In August, Montero makes debuts at two major summer music festivals. On August 15, she will appear at Austria ’s world-renowned Salzburg Festival. For this performance, she will be joined by her frequent collaborator, French cellist Gautier Capuçon, in a concert featuring music by Prokofiev, Schnittke, and Rachmaninov. Recently, the two teamed up on the EMI Classics recording Rhapsody, performing cello sonatas by Prokofiev and Rachmaninov. The San Francisco Chronicle gave the album its top rating, noting:
“For once, here’s a CD with cover art emphasizing the hot looks of the performers that actually has some bearing on the music. French cellist Gautier Capuçon and Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero have put their heads and hands together for a positively steamy romp through two great Russian cello sonatas, and the results are remarkable.”
A few days later, Montero travels back to the United States for her Ravinia Festival debut in Highland Park, IL on August 19. In this concert she is sure to surprise and delight the festival audience by playing traditional repertoire in the first half and then devoting the rest of the evening to her inimitable improvisation.