Gabriela Montero’s visionary interpretations and unique compositional gifts have garnered her critical acclaim and a devoted following on the world stage. Anthony Tommasini remarked in The New York Times that “Montero’s playing had everything: crackling rhythmic brio, subtle shadings, steely power…soulful lyricism…unsentimental expressivity.”
Recipient of the 2018 Heidelberger Frühling Music Prize, Montero’s recent and forthcoming highlights include debut invitations to perform with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, New World Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, and the Orchestre National de France; an extensive European tour with the City of Birmingham Symphony and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla; residencies with the Sao Paolo, Prague Radio, and Basel symphonies, as well as regular appearances at the National Arts Centre of Canada where she was appointed Creative Partner to the organisation for four years from the 2021-2022 season.
The 2022-2023 season also sees the launch of “Gabriela Montero at Prager”, a new ongoing artistic residency established at the Prager Family Center for the Arts in Easton, Maryland. Montero also makes venue debuts in Paris at the Seine Musicale and at the Philharmonie, the latter featuring the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony and Marin Alsop. Montero also re-joins forces with Alsop for performances of her “Latin” Concerto with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival and the Dallas Symphony, while bringing her 2018 composition Babel to the Oregon Symphony. Other recent performances of the “Latin” Concerto have been given with the Orchestra of the Americas on tour at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Edinburgh Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the New World Center in Miami, Florida.
Celebrated for her exceptional musicality and ability to improvise, Montero has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras to date, including: the New York, Royal Liverpool, Rotterdam, Dresden, Oslo, Vienna Radio, and Netherlands Radio philharmonic orchestras; the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Zürcher Kammerorchester, and Academy of St Martin in the Fields; and the Yomiuri Nippon, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, Toronto, Baltimore, Vienna, Barcelona, Lucerne, and Sydney symphony orchestras; the Belgian National Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra, orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, and Residentie Orkest.
A graduate and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Montero is also a frequent recitalist and chamber musician, having given concerts at such distinguished venues as the Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Cologne Philharmonie, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Sydney Opera House, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Lisbon Gulbenkian Museum, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Seoul’s LG Arts Centre, Hong Kong City Hall, and the National Concert Hall in Taipei, and at the Barbican’s ‘Sound Unbound’, London Piano, Edinburgh, Salzburg, SettembreMusica in Milan and Turin, Enescu, Lucerne, Ravinia, Colorado, Gstaad, Saint-Denis, Violon sur le Sable, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Rheingau, Ruhr, Trondheim, Bergen, and Lugano festivals.
An award-winning and bestselling recording artist, her most recent album, released in autumn 2019 on the Orchid Classics label, features her own “Latin” Concerto and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, recorded with the Orchestra of the Americas in Frutillar, Chile. Her previous recording on Orchid Classics features Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and her first orchestral composition, Ex Patria, winning Montero her first Latin Grammy® for Best Classical Album (Mejor Álbum de Música Clásica). Others include Bach and Beyond, which held the top spot on the Billboard Classical Charts for several months and garnered her two Echo Klassik Awards: the 2006 Keyboard Instrumentalist of the Year and 2007 Award for Classical Music without Borders. In 2008, she also received a Grammy® nomination for her album Baroque, and in 2010 she released Solatino, a recording inspired by her Venezuelan homeland and devoted to works by Latin American composers.
Montero made her formal debut as a composer with Ex Patria, a tone poem designed to illustrate and protest Venezuela’s descent into lawlessness, corruption, and violence. The piece was premiered in 2011 by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Montero’s first full-length composition, Piano Concerto No. 1, the “Latin“ Concerto, was first performed in 2016 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with the MDR Sinfonieorchester and Kristjan Järvi, and subsequently recorded and filmed with the Orchestra of the Americas for the ARTE Konzert channel.
Winner of the 4th International Beethoven Award, Montero is a committed advocate for human rights, whose voice regularly reaches beyond the concert hall. She was named an Honorary Consul by Amnesty International in 2015 and recognised with Outstanding Work in the Field of Human Rights by the Human Rights Foundation for her ongoing commitment to human rights advocacy in Venezuela. In January 2020, she was invited to give the Dean’s Lecture at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute and has spoken and performed twice at the World Economic Forum in Davos. She was also awarded the 2012 Rockefeller Award for her contribution to the arts and was a featured performer at Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Inauguration.
Born in Venezuela, Montero started her piano studies at age four, making her concerto debut at age eight in her hometown of Caracas. This led to a scholarship from the government to study privately in the USA and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Hamish Milne.