Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero has gone from child prodigy to one of the most respected international performers around.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Gabriela Montero's first encounter with music was a toy piano placed in her playpen when she was seven months old. She immediately played individual notes to the great surprise of her family.
At 18 months old, she had picked out by herself the entire melody of the National Anthem.
Gabriela gave her first public performance aged five. By the age of eight, she had made her concerto debut with the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra and earned a scholarship to study in America.
She rapidly went on to gain recognition around Europe, USA and South America, leading to collaborations with orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic and the Philharmonia.
From her first contact with a piano, Montero has always improvised and she decided to make it public at the request of Martha Argerich, who told her not to be afraid.
Her recitals span across the globe from appearances at London's Wigmore Hall to the Kennedy Center Washington DC. Gabriela has also performed at a number of prestigious festivals.
Her debut EMI album featured recital music by Rachmaninov, Chopin and Liszt and also some of her own personal improvisations on Baroque and Classical music.
In Baroque, released in 2007, she demonstrated her extraordinary improvisation skills with unique interpretations of well-known Baroque themes.
Her album Solatino featured 26 short sparkling works by seven South American composers with the daunting Piano Sonata No.1 by Ginastera at the centre.
Montero performed John Williams' Air and Simple Gifts with Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Anthony McGill at the inauguration of U.S. president Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.
Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor Opus 18 (3)
(1873-1943 : Russia)
Conductor: Carlos Miguel Prieto
Ensemble: YOA Orchestra of the Americas
Soloists: Gabriela Montero
Record label: Orchid Classics
Catalogue ID: ORC 100047