17. March 2010 · Comments Off on This Week @ SSV · Categories: Concert Announcements

Gabriela Montero is a concert pianist with a special calling card. She devotes much of her time to an activity that classical pianists pretty much abandoned a couple of centuries ago: improvising.

Typically, she will ask her audience to suggest a theme; someone might shout out “Star Wars” or “La Cucaracha” or a well-known melody by Bach. Then, Montero will begin one of her “free-falls,” as she puts it, letting her fingers spin freewheeling improvisations on the theme, adding new harmonies, building a flowing fantasia that veers far from its source.

If you see Montero in performance with Symphony Silicon Valley this week — Thursday, Saturday or Sunday at the California Theatre — there’s a good chance that you will hear one of these improvised excursions.

First, she will perform Rachmaninoff’s gleaming Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor with the orchestra; that’s the main event. But then, assuming the audience cheers loudly enough, she may just decide to sit back down for an improvised, jazz-inflected solo encore, as she often does.


I had read about Ms. Montero before, and had visited here website. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing her live.

Now don’t you want to hear what she’ll do in San Jose? Huh? Go here so you, too, can hear!

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