The Venezuelan-born piano virtuoso Gabriela Montero will appear on the Piano Masters Series, presented by the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, on Nov 15 in Chenery Auditorium. On the phone from her home in Barcelona, Spain, Montero says the sonatas by Mozart (K. 311) and Beethoven (Op 53, "Waldstein") that open the program, both in C major, offer freshness and innocence but sudden surprises, too.
Her gift for improvising, honed since childhood, is a communication tool, she says. It allows her to bring the past into the present. Montero hopes it helps audiences without classical music knowledge become more comfortable with it, when she plays a famous pop tune as a Bach-like fugue or a Chopin-style waltz. Her improvisations, always different, can take her through the ages, uniting styles and even countries through music.