“The Venezuelan virtuoso pianist Clara Rodriguez”
The Daily Telegraph
Education and Concert career
Clara Rodriguez has built up an enviable international reputation
for her innovative programme planning, juxtaposing standard
repertoire and works by South American composers.
Her playing has been described as being highly expressive,
sensitive with considerable digital clarity and stylistic acumen.
At sixteen she was in her eighth year at the Conservatorio Juan
José Landaeta of Caracas when she took part in a national
competition judged by Michael Gough Matthews and
Barbara Boissard, the then directors of The Royal College of
Music’s Senior and Junior Departments. She was awarded
the Teresa Carreño Scholarship that enabled her to come to
London to study at the Royal College of Music with Phyllis Sellick.
There she studied for a year at the JD and at Senior College
graduated from the Performers’ Course and a two year Post-
Graduate. She was the recipient of many prizes and awards such
as the Scarlatti Prize, the Mozart Prize and the Percy Buck Award,
as finalist in the Chappell Prize; with the RCM orchestras she
performed concertos by Mozart, De Falla, Ravel and Gershwin.
Clara Rodriguez has also studied with Guiomar Narváez
(Venezuela), Regina Smendzianka (Poland), Niel Immelman
(U.K.) Paul Badura-Skoda (Austria) and Irina Zaritskaya (Russia).
In Caracas, aged sixteen she made her debut playing Mozart
Piano Concerto K595 with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra under the
baton of José Antonio Abreu; from then on Clara Rodriguez’s
career as a solo pianist has taken her to Belgium, Denmark, Egypt,
Finland, France, India, Italy, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, The USA and
In London she is a hugely popular performer who plays to great
acclaim at the Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre,
Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, Leighton House, Bolívar Hall, St.
James’s Piccadilly and St John’s Smith Square.
Recently she has been invited to play a series of celebratory
concertos with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra as well as with other
El Sistema Orchestras for their 40th Anniversary. Clara Rodríguez
also played in the celebrations of the 35th Orquesta Municipal de
Caracas Anniversary Concert Series and the Fitzrovia Festival
(Fitzfest) alongside clarinettist Michael Collins.
Her commercial recordings on labels such as ASV, Meridian and
Universal have received outstanding critical acclaim. At present
she has five albums on Nimbus Records of the piano music by:
Teresa Carreño, Ernesto Lecuona, Moises Moleiro and Federico
Her latest CD, “Venezuela”, contains a collection of dances by 18
different composers and “Americas” her newly recorded album will
be released in the autumn of 2016; it will present a mixture of
music from countries such as Haiti, Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, The
USA, Argentina and Venezuela.
Other titles on her discography are:
Chopin Late Works – Classical Recording Company
El Cuarteto & Clara Rodríguez – Live in Concert in Caracas.
These CDs are broadcast by networks worldwide.
Clara Rodriguez has commissioned and premièred many works
including Federico Ruiz’s Second Piano Concerto which she
recorded with the Orquesta Municipal de Caracas.
Federico Ruiz has also written for her:
• Zumba que zumba
• Tropical Triptych – Sonata in three movements
Clara Rodriguez is the dedicatee of a number of other piano
• Creciente Waltz by Miguel Astor
• Vista Clara by Lawrence Casserley (piano and ring modulator)
• Three Preludes by Mirtru Escalona Mijares
• Anthology of Venezuelan Waltzes for piano and string orchestra
by Juan Carlos Núñez
• Sin manija by Michael Rosas-Cobian (piano and electronic
sounds on tape)
• Clarissima visione by Diego Silva (for piano and orchestra) and
Africa Mia (for two percussionists and piano)
• Cuaderno de piezas by Adrián Suárez (for piano and indigenous
Words and music
Clara Rodriguez has successfully devised, produced and
performed programmes that combine words, visual effects and
• Gypsy Ballade – homage to Federico Garcia Lorca
• Liszt in petticoats – dedicated to Teresa Carreño
• Franz Liszt – his poets and demons
Clara Rodriguez has founded and directed three music festivals:
• San Martin Theatre of Caracas Festival (1993-1998) for which
she obtained support from the Venezuelan Arts Council and in
1998 from the British Council to present performances by
clarinettist Ian Stuart who played recitals of music by British
composers and Luciano Berio and pianist Niel Immelmann who
gave a recital, masterclasses for the local students and played
Grieg Piano Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfónica Venezuela.
• A Legendary Piano Festival of Caracas (2013) was an event
created by Clara Rodriguez to celebrate the purchase of the
Steinway Concert Grand model D bought to the Southbank
Centre by Venezuela. She invited 16 local pianists to participate
and interviewed each of them in public before each concert; she
gave two dozen interviews herself to the radio, TV and the
national press. Norman Lebrecht published a chronicle of the
procedure undertaken by Clara Rodriguez to successfully
achieve this enterprise, “Brendel’s piano in Caracas”.
• Clara Rodriguez Bolívar Hall Concert Series (2013) Clara
Rodríguez invited musicians from The USA, Spain, Germany and
France to perform in London.
With an experience of over 25 years, Clara Rodriguez has been an
active, sought after private teacher of students that travel from as
far afield as India, France, different corners of the UK and
Venezuela to receive tuition from her.
Her knowledge of Latin American repertoire has caught the interest
of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music that has
included in its syllabus works suggested by her of composers such
as Federico Ruiz, Antonio Estévez and Miguel Astor.
Her edition of “Pieces for children under 100 years of age” by Ruiz
was launched by Spartan Press Publishers in 2012 and is being
enjoyed by students all over the world.
Her students have won many competitions and scholarships to
different schools in their countries. Some have entered the main
music colleges of the UK such as the Royal Welsh, the Guildhall, The Royal
College of Music and Trinity College as well as Oxford and Cambridge universities and are now pursuing successful performing careers.
As a member of the of the RCM Junior staff since 2006 her
students have played at the Wigmore Hall, the Albert Hall (Elgar
Room) and have been successful in the Royal Philharmonic
Society Duet Competition as well as international competitions.
She is in demand as an adjudicator in several countries and has
given masterclasses in Switzerland, the U.K. and Venezuela.
Articles by Clara Rodriguez have been published on International
Piano Magazine and on Pianist Magazine.
Awards and media
Clara Rodriguez was awarded the 2015 LUKAS prize as Classical
Music Personality of the Year. The Latin-UK Awards (LUKAS) is
the only award to recognize the contribution of Britain’s one million
Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese residents. It is the most
media covered Latin event in the UK’s history, reaching an
estimated 20 million people in the UK, North and South America.
She has also been named Woman of the Year a number of times
by Venezuelan newspapers such as El Nacional, El Universal and
BBC Radio and TV Networks
Clara Rodriguez appears once a year on the BBC Radio 3
programme “In Tune” since its beginnings in 1998. She has also
been invited several times to talk about women composers and to
play their pieces on “Woman’s Hour”. In April this year she was a
guest on the “Music Matters” programme dedicated to the
celebration of Alberto Ginastera’s centenary where she talked to
Tom Service and played two pieces by the Argentinean composer.
Her CDs have featured on “CD Review” and on the “Breakfast
She has had interviews on many of the BBC World Service and
France Internationale programmes.
Since her childhood, Clara Rodriguez has appeared playing live on
TV channels in different countries including on Sky television and
For more detailed information about Clara Rodriguez you can visit:
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Venpianista
Web: http://www.clararodriguez.com http://www.wordpress.uk.com/