“South American Belle” A portrait of Clara Rodriguez by Bill Newman

Image“This whole business of placing a concert pianist in a special category may spell taboo to piano buffs, but the thoroughly vivacious Venezuelan-born Clara Rodriguez has several unusual slants to her artistry. And a growing number of appetizing programmes, all containing intriguing titles to whet people’s appetites and dissuade them from returning home afterwards…When I first heard her play it was at the Purcell Room of London’s South Bank…the challenge was there to create unusual colour contrasts between the usual classical fare of Liszt, in his famous B minor Sonata, and some exotic output of Moises Moleiro and Federico Ruiz, both represented on Nimbus CDs. Gorgeously dressed to match the occasion, Rodriguez’s sensuous playing did everything to vitalize the constant admiration of senior music critic G. Crankshaw, and brought forth much praise from my fond colleague, Phyllis Sellick.

The Liszt on this occasion was persuasively different to artists unleashing tonal forces, their portentous architectural exaggerations pummelling the listener’s senses into a state of nullified submission. It was reflective and tender, each new subject and harmonic strand treated with natural respect, and a visionary understanding of their correct place within the whole. One didn’t require to express plaudits following it, but just to give thanks for revealing the music’s inner message…”

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Clara Rodriguez at Wigmore Hall

“Clara Rodriguez again filled the Wigmore Hall on 27 June and the quality of
the performance made this seem unsurprising.

While producing the most
beautiful and rich piano tones,

her Albéniz pieces were romantically played, stressing the harmonic adventures (Almería), elusive reverie
(Evocación) and making us aware of the echoes of ancient Andalusian cante
hondo (EL Albaicín). The Venezuelan songs and dances were piquant, lively
and engagingly played…a commanding performance of the Chopin Ballade No 4
Op. 52 as well as the Allegro maestoso of the Sonata Op. 58 No 3 with a
fuller response to the very different characters of the Molto vivace and the
Largo. The lyrical beauty of this latter was finely nuanced and in the
closing Presto the rhythm surged most excitingly”
Max Harrison, Musical opinion, London 2008

“Clara Rodrig…

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Clara Rodriguez at the Wigmore

Most of what Clara Rodriguez played to a full Wigmore Hall on 20 December was marked by the sheer beauty of her tone.

Having tuned herself in with the sixth of Mompou’s Cançon i dans she gave a wonderfully clear and precise account of Mozart’s Sonata in B flat major K 333. In parallel to this the Polonaise-Fantaisie, one of Chopin’s most rarefied works, was led into with the B major Nocturne Op.62 No 1. This latter, with its long skeins of trills, elaborate decorations and fairly radical harmonic departures, is itself a demanding task yet Clara Rodriguez understood Chopin’s music extremely well…deep and heart felt performances.

This seemed equally true of the South American composers who filled the recital’s second half. Bagatelles by the Argentinian Rosas Cobian were colourful and pianistically resourceful. From Brazil, Villa-Lobos’ Dansa do Indio Branco was in contrast insistently rhythmic, even noisy. It was back to colour and sensitivity in Antonio Lauro’s Canción and Seis por derecho in which Rodriguez’s playing was especially refined. The concluding piece also a Joropo, the most characteristic dance of Venezuela, was the rhythmic Zumba que zumba which is dedicated to the recitalist by Federico Ruiz.”

Max Harrison. Musical Opinion. London

Clara Rodriguez plays in Washington DC

Pianist Clara Rodriguez comes to Bolivarian Hall in DC

The recognized Venezuelan pianist Clara Rodríguez will perform in Washington, DC, next Tuesday September 25 at 7pm at the Bolivarian Hall, the cultural space of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S. (located at 2443 Massachusetts Ave., NW).

Rodríguez, who has performed acclaimed recitals and concerts around the world since age 17, has carefully selected a program of Latin American music that will please fans of jazz, classical and world music with pieces by Ricardo Teruel, Federico Ruíz, Miguel Yánez and others.

Max Harrision of the London Journalists Association has noted Rodríguez’s technical skill as a pianist as well as “the sheer beauty of her tone….Most of what the Venezuelan pianist Clara Rodriguez played to a full Wigmore Hall on 20 December was marked by the sheer beauty of her tone.”

At the Bolivarian Hall, Rodríguez will offer the audience a repertoire of  rhythms that evoke a range of emotions including nostalgia and happiness.

This important pianist began studying the piano in Caracas, Venezuela at the Joan José Landaeta Conservatory. She later won a scholarship from the Arts Council of Venezuela to attend the Royal College of Music in London, and today, she is a professor of piano at that prestigious institution.

Press Office of the Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / September 20, 2012