Gabriela Montero Ascends Tchaikovsky's Great Heights
Venezuelan piano virtuoso Gabriela Montero's interpretative prowess and creative vision have amassed a cult following of ardent fans the world over and seen the ivory-tickling performer share the stage with some of the best orchestras in the world. As well as an affinity for the standard classical repertoire, she is particularly well known for soaring improvisations based on themes suggested by the audience that form breathtaking complex new pieces. The San Francisco Symphony welcomes her for a performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, once considered unplayable due to its considerable technical demands.
Premiering in Boston in 1875, the piece was an immediate success and has since become one of the most popular showpieces for the instrument, testing the mettle of even the most accomplished of pianists. Steeped in sublime romance, expansive themes and sweeping movements, the concerto opens with a thunderously triumphant series of instantly recognisable chords before soaring to the soulful melodic heights of its middle section. Its electrifying finale is known to have audiences on the edges of their seats, returning to the powerful energy of its introduction.