Classical pianist Gabriela Montero

Gabriela Montero Improv(e)s Classical Piano

Gabriela Montero is not your typical classical pianist. She takes requests from the audience and improvises her show.

Venezuelan-born Montero is known for incorporating soap opera themes, pop tunes and nursery rhymes into original works. I wonder how well she'd take to a suggestion of Daft Punk's Da Funk or Lady Gaga's Love Game. That is, if she's up on these pop tunes.

She recently played at U.S. President Barak Obama's inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20. The last time she played in Toronto was November 2007, when she sold out the Glenn Gould Studio. This week she's back for two nights, this Wednesday and Thursday.

Montero has performed at some of the finest concert halls around the world. A recent album of hers consisted of one disc of music by Rachmaninov, Chopin and Liszt and a second of improvised works.

Her Bach and Beyond CD was given the "Choc de la musique de l'année" award in 2006 from The French Magazine Le Monde de la Musique. She's also heard on NPR's Performance Today "Sing It and Wing It," where listeners call in with a melody upon which she then improvises.

Montero is playing at Glenn Gould Studio on April 1st and 2nd at 8 p.m. Her program will include the works of Brahms and Bethoven, as well as improvisations on themes or pieces suggested by audience members. Tickets are $39.50.

blogTO is giving away a pair of tickets to Thursday night's show. To win, be the first person to leave a comment here at or after 12 noon today (Tuesday, blogTO time) with the answer to this question: What would you like Montero to incorporate into a piano piece at her Toronto shows?

Please be sure to use a valid email address on the comment form so that I can contact you with details on claiming your tickets.

Photo courtesy Gabriela Montero.


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