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By Culturekiosque Staff

NEW YORK, 22 JANUARY 2009 — The New Year began auspiciously for Gabriela Montero, with a performance of truly historic importance: on Tuesday, 20 January, the Venezuelan-American pianist was in Washington D.C. performing at Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration. Montero joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and clarinetist Anthony McGill for the performance of a new work composed by John Williams, who also provided music for Obama's election night rally in Chicago 's Grant Park. Soon after, Montero may once again be in the national media spotlight, when winners of the 51st annual Grammy Awards are announced in Los Angeles (8 February). Montero's latest recording of improvisations, Baroque, is already a Billboard bestseller and has been both nominated in the Best Classical Crossover Album Award category and specified as one of the albums in the Best Producer category.

Montero first came to national attention in the United States after the release of her debut album for EMI Classics, Bach and Beyond, in September 2006. That album was also a Billboard bestseller, and introduced many people to an artist who is now widely acclaimed, not only for her performances of traditional concert and recital repertoire, but also for her breathtaking abilities as an improviser. Other milestones in the previous few seasons have included Montero's well-received debut with the New York Philharmonic, a recital at the Hagia Eirene Museum in Istanbul, a feature story in the Wall Street Journal, and a profile on television's top-rated news program, 60 Minutes. Her latest standard repertoire recording, Rhapsody, features Montero with Gautier Capuçon, performing cello sonatas by Prokofiev and Rachmaninov. The San Francisco Chronicle gave the album its top rating, noting:

"For once, here's a CD with cover art emphasizing the hot looks of the performers that actually has some bearing on the music. French cellist Gautier Capuçon and Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero have put their heads and hands together for a positively steamy romp through two great Russian cello sonatas, and the results are remarkable."

Gabriela Monterot

In the coming months, Gabriela Montero will be busy both in the U.S. and in Europe , giving recitals and concerto performances. Highlights include performances of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Pittsburgh Symphony - her debut with the orchestra (23 and 25 January) - and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (26 - 28 January); a recital at Vienna's Konzerthaus (18 April); and a recital tour of Germany (Munich, 19 April; Bonn, 20 April; Hamburg, 21 April; Dortmund, 22 April; Heidelberg, 23 April; Thuringia [Thuringia Bach Festival - 25 April]; and Cologne, 26 April). Additional European engagements include Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Fabio Luisi conducting the Vienna Symphony (15 and 16 May) and recitals in Copenhagen (18 May) , Bilbao (20 May), Dresden (24 May), Essen (Klavier-Festival Ruhr - 25 May), and Paris (28 May).

A complete list of Gabriela Montero's performance schedule for winter/spring 2009 can be found at the artist's website: www.gabrielamontero.com

CALENDAR TIP: chosen by the editors as being of interest to Culturekiosque readers.

New York

Obama: The Historic Campaign & Victory in Photos
Through 28 February 2009
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY

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