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The Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, who was born in 1970 in Caracas, started learning piano at the age of four, was already performing in public when she was five, and made her debut as a soloist at eight in Haydn’s D major Piano Concerto. Shortly after, she received a state scholarship that enabled her to continue her training in the United States and later at the London Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne. Gabriela Montero has concertized with such major American orchestras as the Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston Symphonies; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; and the Cleveland Orchestra. In Europe she has performed with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Rotterdam and Royal Liverpool Philharmonics. She has given recitals at the Southbank Centre in London, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, David Geffen Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Orchard Hall in Tokyo. Improvisations are Gabriela Montero’s trademark, in which she fantasizes on themes that are suggested to her on the spot by the audience. She is also active as a composer and has written such works as the tone poem ExPatria for piano and orchestra (2011) and the Piano Concerto Latin (2016). Among the distinctions Montero’s recordings have received are the Choc de l’année from Le Monde de la Musique, two Echo Klassik Awards, and, most recently (in the fall of 2015), the Latin Grammy Award. In 2012 she was honored with the Rockefeller Award. Gabriela Montero took part in the music programs for Barack Obama’s Inauguration as U.S. President in 2009 and for the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2013. For her efforts on behalf of Amnesty International, she was named Honorary Consul.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 21 November 2013, when she was presented with a recital program containing works by Schumann and Brahms as well as her own improvisations.