Claudia Montero

Composer

Author

About

Argentinean composer Claudia Montero has emerged as one of the most outstanding and acclaimed composers in Latin America today. Claudia's music has been premiered and performed worldwide. "It is strongly rooted in South American traditional music.... apart from the joy it expresses there is also a sort of melancholy behind the music ....not sadness, just an elegiac sense or yearning for older times... that is rooted in Claudia’s traditions from that part of the world"... Irish conductor David Brophy.

Claudia Montero is the winner of two Latin Grammy Awards in the category of “Best Classical Contemporary Composition”, in 2014 for her Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra and in 2016 for her String Quartet Cuarteto para Buenos Aires.

The 2016-2017 season included the World Premiere at the Galway International Arts Festival in Ireland of her Piano Concerto “Blanco y Negro” with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra led by conductor David Brophy, followed by a second performance at the National Concert Hall in Dublin . The Premiere of her Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra with the Valencia Orchestra and her Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra with violinist Emanuel Salvador and the Baltic Neopolis Orchestra were performed at the Palau de la Música in Valencia.

During 2017 Claudia Montero´s works have been performed in the USA, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Serbia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Austria, S Korea, Estonia, France, China and Canada among others.

Her works have been premiered by the Orquesta de Cámara de Buenos Aires, Crescendo Orchestra, the Orquesta de Cámara de Jeréz, the Orquestra Pau Casals, the Sinfonietta Paris, the Turin Philharmonic, the Taipei University Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonierorchester Kusel, the Baltic Neopolis Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de Tango de Buenos Aires, and the symphony orchestras of Salta, Tucumán, Rosario and Neuquen University in Argentina. Her works were also performed at international music festivals such as the Festival de Ronda, Festival Fortea, Langernagen Chamber Music Festival, Donau Festival, GitarISTRA Festival, Festival de Música de Cámara de Montserrat, Festival de Guitarra de Gandia and the Festival “Desde los confines del mundo” in Argentina.

Claudia has collaborated with chamber music groups and instrumentalists such as the Maganos Quintet, the American String Quartet, the Almus Quartet, the Kamer Quartet, the Barrenechea Dúo, the Billroth String Quartet, Il Concerto Accademico, Quatre U, Trío Luminar, Trío Brouwer, harpist Floraleda Sacci and guitarists José Luis Ruíz del Puerto, Wolfgang Weigel and Isabel Siewers.

Claudia Montero has released 6 CD recordings: her first, “Evocaciones” features compositions for harp played by Floraleda Sacchi, “Sonidos de Mujer” features works for guitar performed by José Luis Ruiz del Puerto, her Grammy award winning CD “Ausencias”, and her Grammy award winning CD “Irremediablemente Buenos Aires”. Her latest release, was the CD "Luminosa" which featured her recent composition Concerto “Blanco y Negro” for piano and orchestra, performed by pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra led by Carlos Franzetti, and Homage to Tarrega with Guitarist Piero Bonaguri ( Italy).

Claudia Montero is frequently invited as a composer and lecturer to festivals such as the Cagliari International Music Festival in Italy, A Orillas del Guadalquivir Festival and the Festival de Música de Ayamonte in Spain, Gitarreland Festival in Germany and France, Encuentro Latinoamericano en las Artes in Alcalá and the Festival Internacional de la Habana in Cuba. She has participated as a Composer at conferences at the Universities of Valencia, Nis in Serbia, Jaum I, Giovanni Battista Martini in Bologna, and the Cagliari and Undine in Italy.

Claudia is a member of the International Alliance of Women in Music , the Latin Recording Academy and the Recording Academy of the USA.

She began her musical studies at the Conservatorio Alberto Ginastera where she obtained a Bachelor´s Degree in Pedagogy and Composition. She obtained a Master Degree in Aesthetic and Musical Creativity from the Universidad de Valencia. Currently she is part of the Professorship body with the Generalitat Valenciana.

Upcoming projects include the recording in March 2018 with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra led by Lucía Zicos of "Mágica y Misteriosa" - Magic and Mystery, concertos for Guitar and Harp with María Isabel Siewers ( guitar) and Floraleda Sacchi ( harp).

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is the perfect way to connect and express all my feelings.It allows me to share what is in my mind with the minds of the audience and to touch their souls.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I think that there are different concepts, about this. Initially music is the combination of fantasy and reality. For a composer it is a vibrant and complex process which does not impose and the listener is free to receive and respond to the music in their own unique way.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

A filmmaker. I see the absolute connection between all the arts disciplines, and cinema is one of the most powerful media for expression in this world.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

Yes, I see that, but I also see a lot of initiatives that are trying to change this, and to involve young people.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Yes, in 19th and at the beginning of 20th century the role of music was more dominant than today. Now with technology and the new disciplines of art, music need to live and complement these others disciplines: I think music is the best way to create shared spaces of pleasure and reflexion between people.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Absolutely: To be creative, not only is it necessary to compose or promote the work , it is also important to use all available media sources to share information about the work and to attract the attention of music lovers.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

The younger generation need reference points which connect to and makes sense in the world that they know, so it is important for the artist to keep close to young people, to talk with them when possible, to talk about our compositions and to explain what we are trying to express and how we hope to achieve that objective with the music.

Tell us about your creative process.

There are two very distinct triggers to my creative process . Sometimes I compose simply because I want to and for no other reason but to express something which comes into my consciousness from I know not where. My creative process also begins when I know that I have to compose for a commission. Then I have to think about who is the commissioner, what musical forces they envisage, what length and structure they require, what they hope to receive and what audience they will address, what are the essences and capabilities of expression of any solo instrument or voice, and so much more. My mind absorbs all these and many other factors and the new composition begins to emerge like a new flower greeting the sun.

What is your favourite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

I have more than one, Piano Concerto, and Guitar Concerto. Concierto en Blanco y Negro, was comissioned by Allison and Carlos Franzetti, two years ago, and was recorded by them with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, and Luces y Sombras, guitar concerto, was comissioned by CultuArts in 2017, and was performed in Valencia, by Jose Luis Ruiz del Puerto ( guitar) and Orquesta de Valencia, under baton Virginia Martínez.