Other Events

Gabriela Montero, piano

Clark Art Museum ($20, $6 with valid student ID. To purchase tickets, call the MASS MoCA box office at 413.662.2111. Cash or check only)

The Williams College Department of Music and the Williamstown Jazz Festival will jointly present a unique concert featuring Echo Preis Award winning pianist Gabriela Montero on Wednesday, April 16, at 8 p.m. at The Clark. Tickets at $20, $6 for students with valid ID. MASS MoCA box office: 413-662-2111.

This evening of music will include Bach’s Chaconne (from Partita No. 2 in D Minor for violin); Chopin’s Ballad No. 3 in A-flat Major and Ginastera’s Sonata No. 1, op. 47. The improvisation half of the concert is based on themes or pieces suggested by audience members.

Montero’s engagements include her acclaimed New York Philharmonic debut with Lorin Maazel, the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Philharmonic with Benjamin Zander, Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Lanaudiere Festival and the Philharmonia Orchestra with Gustavo Dudamel, with whom she also works regularly with the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra “Simon Bolivar”.

Gabriela – Live Every Month!: Montero improvises live on the internet twice monthly. These improvisations are based on requests from the public and are free to download for three days afterwards. Go to www.gabrielamontero.com for full details.

Montero will also give a master class for Williams College students on Tuesday, April 15, at 4:15 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus. This free event is open to the public.

The Williamstown Jazz Festival is sponsored by the Williams Department of Music, ‘62 Center, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Berkshire Bank, Gala, Orchards Hotel, Spice Root, St. Johns, The Williams Inn, Berkshire Hills Motel, Banknorth, Café Latino, JAM, MASS MoCA, Williams College Museum of Art, The High Meadow Foundation, The Mohawk Trail Association, and Williamstown Chamber of Commerce.

About Gabriela Montero

Gabriela Montero’s visionary interpretations and unique improvisational gift have won her a quickly expanding audience and devoted following around the world. Gabriela’s engagements include her acclaimed New York Philharmonic debut with Lorin Maazel, the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Philharmonic with Benjamin Zander, Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Lanaudiere Festival and the Philharmonia Orchestra with Gustavo Dudamel, with whom she also works regularly with the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra “Simon Bolivar.”

In recital, Gabriela has appeared at the Wigmore Hall London, Kennedy Center Washington DC, National Arts Center Ottawa, Orchard Hall Tokyo, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Herkulessaal Munich, Musikhalle Hamburg, Berlin Konzerthaus, and at the Cologne Philharmonie as part of the Cologne Musiktriennale 2007 themed ‘improvisation’. Gabriela has appeared at the Roque d’Anthéron, Radio France Montpellier, Schleswig-Holstein, MDR Musiksommer, Penderecki, and Radio Canada Chopin festivals and is invited annually to the ‘Progetto Martha Argerich’ Festival in Lugano and to Martha Argerich’s Buenos Aires Festival. Summer 2007 festivals include Ruhr, Lockenhaus, Verbier, San Francisco Jazz and Caramoor, as well as performances at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

After performing a concerto or recital, Gabriela often invites her audiences to suggest a melody for improvisation by way of an encore. They ask for themes from a Haydn symphony to Star Wars, or they come to the stage to play a melody on the piano that she may or may not know. “When improvising,” Gabriela says, “I connect with my audience in a completely unique way – and they connect with me.” For Montero, who maintains a busy schedule of recital and concerto appearances in the major halls and at the major music festivals in Europe, Asia and the Americas, improvisation is not a sideline or a party trick. She explains, “Because improvisation is such a huge part of who I am, it is the most natural and spontaneous way I can express myself. I have been improvising since my hands first touched the keyboard, but for many years I kept this aspect of my playing secret. Then Martha Argerich overheard me improvising one day and was ecstatic. In fact, it was Martha who persuaded me that it was possible to combine my career as a serious ‘classical’ artist with the side of me that is rather unique.”

Gabriela’s first EMI/Angel CD consisted of one disc of music by Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Liszt and a second of her deeply felt and technically brilliant improvisations. Standing alongside inspired performances of core repertoire, improvisation plays as important a part in Gabriela’s life as it did for Bach and Mozart and, to show the link, her EMI/Angel CD Bach and Beyond is a full disc of improvisations on themes by Bach which topped the charts for several months. In Autumn 2007 her follow up recording of improvisations, “Baroque”, was released on EMI/Angel. Gabriela is also heard on NPR’s Performance Today “Sing It and Wing It”, where listeners call in with a melody upon which Gabriela improvises. Gabriela’s talent has been profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes. From November/ December this year, Gabriela will be performing improvisations live on the internet from her living room direct to her audience, on a bi-monthly basis.

Born in Caracas Venezuela, Gabriela gave her first public performance at the age of five. Aged eight she made her concerto debut with the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra conducted by Jose Antonio Abreu and was granted a scholarship from the Venezuelan government to study in the USA. At twelve she won the Baldwin National Competition and AMSA Young Artist International Piano Competition, performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
A former student of Lyl Tiempo, Andrez Esterhazy and Professor Hamish Milne at the Royal Academy of Music London, Gabriela has won international prizes including the Bronze Medal at the 13th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1995, and the Echo Preis Award in Germany in 2006. A citizen of the world, Gabriela currently resides with her family in Massachusetts.

Gabriela – Live Every Month!
Gabriela will be improvising live on the internet, twice monthly. These improvisations will be based on requests from the public and will be free to download for 3 days afterwards.