, 22. September 2017
Much more than just Music

Gabriela Montero against Venezuelan Conditions

Gabriela Montero is one of the most original pianists of our time. She improvises her program on the stage, asks the audience to sing and tells stories with her music. An outstanding artist who is not afraid of political engagement.

x-working Gabriela Montero, (c) Shelley Mosman
Gabriela Montero, (c) Shelley Mosman

Montero grew up under normal circumstances in Caracas. Her enthusiasm for music was striking. Already at the age of five, she had her first public appearance. In 1978, she was given the opportunity to study in the USA through a scholarship as a highly gifted person. Between 2003 and 2006, she lived there with her two daughters, but she always returned to her home country. However, the talented pianist believed she had lost her home for some years. She currently lives in Barcelona.

Improvisation is the great talent of Gabriela Montero. The so-called "moments musicaux" made the pianist famous. Thus, during one of her concerts, a listener stands up and begins to sing - Montero picks up the vocals and improvises adorable pieces. From folks songs to boogie-woogie, from classic to schlager. This musical change is impressive. Anyone who has witnessed it will leave the concert hall with the feeling that something very special has been experienced. She herself says to her endowment: "I'm not doing anything. There is something that just flows through me".

Only in July 2017, there was an incident at a concert at the Komische Oper in Berlin. Shortly before her performance at Peter Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, two young visitors from Venezuela jumped up and sang the national anthem. Apparently, this was intended to be a protest action to draw attention to the current political situation in Venezuela. Visibly stirred and overwhelmed, she played her most poignant B minor concert. Pianist Igor Levi, who sat between the concert audience, concluded that there was no longer any distance between the artist and the work, Montero had "bared" during the performance: “Her struggle for her country, for her people, her hope, which she lives, and for which she stands, day by day, hour by hour - all this came to life.”

Gabriela Montero is a human rights activist and honorary consul of Amnesty International. She does not just want to make music. She also wants to use her music as a political stage to draw attention to the grievances in her home country.

Her next concerts will be given in Spanish Banyoles on 1st October, in Vienna on 10th October, in Geneva on 29th October, in London on 13th November and in Lucerne on 20th November.

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