Clara Rodriguez, concert pianist and educator

“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.
New works

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
• Nocturno
• Merengue
• Carnaval
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
piano music:
• 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
France 3.
Further information
For more detailed information about Clara Rodriguez you can visit:
Youtube channel:
Contact details:
Clara Rodriguez

Clara Rodríguez, pianista y pedagoga



“La virtuosa pianista venezolana Clara Rodríguez.” The Daily Telegraph

Estudios y carrera de concertista

Clara Rodríguez ha adquirido una envidiable reputación internacional por su innovadora manera de programar sus conciertos y recitales, yuxtaponiendo el repertorio académico tradicional con obras de compositores sudamericanos.
Su manera de tocar ha sido descrita como altamente expresiva, de gran sensibilidad, mostrando considerable claridad digital y perspicacia estilística.
A los dieciséis años, cuando cursaba su octavo año en el Conservatorio Juan José Landaeta de Caracas, participó en un concurso juzgado por Michael Gough Matthews y Barbara Boissard, entonces directores de los Departamentos Senior y Junior del Royal College of Music ganando por unanimidad la beca “Teresa Carreño” que le permitió viajar a Londres para estudiar en el Royal College of Music de Londres con la gran pianista inglesa Phyllis Sellick.
En el Senior College, luego de cuatro años se graduó de Concertista, Clara Rodriguez también completó un curso de postgrado de dos años. En el Royal College of Music se distinguió recibiendo numerosos premios entre ellos el Premio Scarlatti, el Premio Mozart y el Premio Percy Buck -Premio Chappell-. Con las orquestas del Royal College of Music se distinguió tocando conciertos de Mozart, De Falla, Ravel y Gershwin.
La primera profesora de piano de Clara Rodríguez fue Guiomar Narváez (Venezuela) en el Conservatorio Juan José Landaeta de Caracas. Clara también ha estudiado con Regina Smendzianka (Polonia), Niel Immelman (Reino Unido) Paul Badura-Skoda (Austria) e Irina


Pianista Clara Rodríguez. Fotografía por Antolín Sánchez

Zaritskaya (Rusia).
En Caracas, de diecisiete años, hizo su debut con la Orquesta Simón Bolívar bajo la batuta de José Antonio Abreu interpretando el último Concierto para Piano de Mozart K595.
La carrera de Clara Rodríguez como pianista solista la ha llevado en giras de conciertos a Bélgica, Dinamarca, Egipto, Finlandia, Francia, India, Italia, España, Siria, Túnez, Estados Unidos y Venezuela.
En Londres se presenta regularmente obteniendo la aclamación del público y de la crítica en las salas más importantes de la ciudad como el Southbank Centre, el Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, San Martin-In-The-Fields, Leighton House, Bolívar Hall, St. James’s Piccadilly y St John’s Smith Square.
Recientemente ha sido invitada a tocar una serie de conciertos de celebración de la fundación de El Sistema con la Orquesta Simón Bolívar y la Orquesta Francisco de Miranda. Clara Rodríguez también participó en las celebraciones de la 35ª Serie de Conciertos de la Orquesta Municipal de Caracas y del Festival Londinense “Fitzrovia” tocando con el afamado clarinetista Michael Collins.
Clara Rodríguez ha actuado como solista bajo la dirección de, entre muchos otros, Jordi Mora, Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Carlos Riazuelo, Marc Dooley, Alfredo Rugeles, Michael Collins, Christopher Adey, Levon Parikian y Luis Miguel González.

Sus grabaciones comerciales en sellos como ASV, Meridian y Universal han obtenido las mejores críticas. En la actualidad el catálogo de Clara Rodríguez comprende seis discos en Nimbus Records de la música para piano de Ernesto Lecuona, Federico Ruiz, Teresa Carreño y Moisés Moleiro. Su CD, “Venezuela”, contiene una colección de danzas de 18 compositores y “Américas Without Frontiers”, su nuevo álbum incluye obras de autores de Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Brasil, Colombia, Haiti
y Estados Unidos de Norte América.

Otros títulos de su discografía son: Chopin Late Works, Classical Recording Company
Y El Cuarteto y Clara Rodríguez en Vivo.
Estos CD se transmiten por radios y redes del mundo entero.

Nuevas piezas
Clara Rodríguez ha comisionado y estrenado un gran número de obras incluyendo el Segundo Concierto para Piano y Orquesta de Federico Ruiz. Dicho compositor también ha escrito especialmente para ella las siguientes piezas:
 Zumba que zumba
 Tropical Triptych (Sonata en tres movimientos)
 Nocturno
 Merengue
 Carnaval
Entre las obras que han sido dedicadas a Clara Rodríguez se encuentran:
 Creciente (Vals venezolano No 10) de Miguel Astor
 Vista Clara de Lawrence Casserley (piano y ring modulator)
 Three Preludes de Mirtru Escalona Mijares
 Anthología de Valses Venezolanos piano y orquesta de Juan Carlos Núñez
 Sin manija de Michael Rosas-Cobián (piano y sonidos electrónicos)
 Clarissima visione (para piano y orquesta) y África Mia (para dos percusionistas y piano) de Diego Silva
 Cuaderno de piezas (para piano e instrumentos indígenas) de Adrián Suárez.


Con una experiencia de más de 25 años, Clara Rodríguez ha sido muy solicitada por estudiantes que viajan desde lugares tan lejanos como la India, Francia, diferentes rincones del Reino Unido y de Venezuela para recibir clases con ella.

Su conocimiento del repertorio latinoamericano ha atraído el interés del Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (Asociación de las Escuelas Reales de Música), la cual ha incluido en su plan de estudios obras sugeridas por ella de compositores tales como Federico Ruiz, Antonio Estévez y Miguel Astor.

Su edición de “Pieces for children under 100 years of age” de Federico Ruiz fue lanzada por Spartan Press Publishers en 2012 y es disfrutada por estudiantes de todo el mundo.

Sus estudiantes han ganado muchas concursos y becas a diferentes escuelas en sus países. Algunos han entrado en los principales colegios de música del Reino Unido como el Royal Welsh, el Guildhall, el Royal College of Music, la Royal Academy of Music y el Trinity College, así como las universidades de Oxford y Cambridge.

Es profesora de piano en el Royal College of Music (Junior Department) desde 2006. Allí sus estudiantes se han destacado tocado en el Wigmore Hall, el Albert Hall (Salón Elgar) y han tenido éxito en la Royal Philharmonic Society Duet Competition, el BBC Young Musician of the Year y en concursos internacionales.

Clara Rodríguez ha sido jurado de concursos en varios países y ha dado clases magistrales en Suiza, la U.K. y Venezuela. Artículos de Clara Rodríguez han sido publicados en International Piano Magazine, Musical Opinion y en Pianist Magazine.

Reconocimientos y medios de comunicación

Clara Rodríguez fue galardonada con el premio LUKAS 2015 como Personalidad de la Música Clásica del Año. Los premios latino-británicos (LUKAS) son el único premio que reconoce la contribución de un millón de latinos, españoles y portugueses residentes en Gran Bretaña. Es el evento latino de más repercusión en los medios de comunicación en la historia del Reino Unido, llegando a un estimado de 20 millones de personas en el Reino Unido, América del Norte y del Sur.

También ha sido nombrada Mujer del Año y Personalidad de Influencia varias veces por periódicos venezolanos como El Nacional, El Universal, Panorama entre otros.

BBC Radio y Televisión

Clara Rodríguez ha participado anualmente tocando y hablando en vivo en el programa “In Tune” de la BBC Radio 3 desde sus inicios en 1998. También ha sido invitada varias veces a hablar de compositoras femeninas y a tocar sus piezas en “Woman’s Hour”.

En abril del año 2016 fue invitada en el programa “Music Matters” dedicado a la celebración del centenario de Alberto Ginastera, dondesu presentador, Tom Service la entrevistó y en donde tocó dos piezas del compositor argentino.

Sus CDs son tocados con mucha frecuencia en programas tales como “CD Review”, “Essencial Classics” y en el “Breakfast Show”.

Clara Rodriguez ha sido entrevistada frecuentemente en muchos de los programas de BBC World Service y France Internationale.

Desde su niñez, Clara Rodríguez ha tocado en directo en los canales de televisión de diferentes países, entre ellos Sky Television y France 3.

Durante el 2016 Clara Rodríguez celebró el centenario del venezolano Antonio Estévez en varios conciertos tanto en el Reino Unido como en Venezuela.

Para más información sobre Clara Rodríguez por favor visite:
Youtube channel:

“Clara Rodríguez es una poeta del piano, si yo fuera pianista me gustaría tocar mis piezas como ella lo hace.” Antonio Estévez

Comentario de Guiomar Narváez sobre AmericasWithoutFrontiers.
“Es un CD para el corazón. Me hizo soñar y vibrar con tu sonido precioso e infinita dulzura”

“El lado multiculturalista de las Américas se celebra en este vivaz disco de la pianista venezolana Clara Rodríguez, que representa la cultura musical de amerindios, europeos y africanos. Desde el principio, el ambiente es de fiesta, con maracas añadidas al Apure en un viaje de Genaro Prieto, un joropo
El colombiano Germán Dario Pérez aporta un bambuco, Ancestro, antes de que las 17 Piezas Infantiles del venezolano Antonio Estévez hablen de una profundidad que desmiente su título. Rodríguez interpreta esta música con habilidad innata, encontrando infinita ternura y nostálgica lamentación. Dos tangos de Nazaret, llenos de energía (el segundo es el conocido Odeón), conducen a un relato robusto de los Tres Preludios de Gershwin antes de que surja la gloriosa Danza de fin de siglo de José María Vitier, con su resplandeciente trabajo de digitación. La seductora pieza por Lamothe, La dangereuse, ofrece otro punto culminante. ¡Un excelente lanzamiento.!” International Piano Magazine

“La venezolana (pianista, Clara Rodríguez) es una valiente defensora de la música latinoamericana, y su programa de piezas para piano alcanza la superficie más baja y con frecuencia alegre para capturar el alma más profunda de la región.Las obras venezolanas de Antonio Estévez y Juan Carlos Núñez son (especialmente) cautivadoras, mientras que los Tres Preludios de Gershwin son un acto magistral” Stephen Pettit. Sunday Times Culture Magazine.

En el número de Septiembre 2009 la revista Gramophone publicó una entrevista hecha a Clara Rodríguez con relación a su disco de música de Teresa Carreño y el crítico Jeremy Nicholas lo reseñó con las siguientes palabras:
“Clara Rodríguez nos ofrece ejecuciones de seductora vivacidad ligadas a ese requisito esencial: ENCANTO. Altamente recomendado”
De su primera presentación pública a la edad de trece años en el Ateneo de Caracas, el crítico Israel Peña se expresó de la siguiente manera: “Cabe decir que en sus interpretaciones hubo algo más de lo que esperábamos, algo fuera de serie, en fondo y aspecto, delicadeza y magia en el toucher”
La crítica aparecida en la revista Musical Opinion sobre su reciente interpretación del Tercer Concierto de Rachmaninoff en la Sala Saint John’s Smith Square de Londres dice:
“Clara Rodríguez ofreció una fluida y comprometida entrega de la muy exi-gente parte solista, revelando con aguda inteligencia los contrastes retóricos de la obra con formas de tocar que se turnaron entre el vigor, la alegría y la compasión”
“Todo lo que tocó Clara Rodríguez en el Wigmore Hall estuvo marcado por la más absoluta belleza de su sonido. Luego de comenzar con la Canción y Danza VI de Federico Mompou, dió una maravillosa, clara y precisa inter-pretación de la Sonata K333 de Mozart. Paralelamente a esto tocó una de las más refinadas obras de Chopin, la Polonaise- Fantasie, pieza que fue an-tecedida por el Nocturno Op.62 No1.Este último con sus largos ramilletes de trinos, elaboradas decoraciones y armonías radicales es por sí solo una pieza exigente pero Clara Rodríguez entiende la música de Chopin maravillosa-mente bien. Su Mozart y su Chopin penetraron profundamente.” Max Harri-son. Musical Opinion. Londres 2006
“Clara Rodríguez es una excelente pianista” Gramophone. Londres
“Los que fueron al recital a oír a un virtuoso estuvieron bien servidos con un denso programa lleno de obras desafiantes, un verdadero tour de force inexorablemente desencadenándose frente a sus ojos y oídos. Los que fueron sedientos de ser vislumbrados por el Arte, el inefable, el inexplicable, el no cuantificable, lo experimentaron también. Fue en suma, una ejecución del corazón, entregada con un toque mágico a través de un ilimitado poder expresivo”
Roberto Filoseta. Compositor. Italia.
“Una pianista con cualidades poco usuales y muy especial en su clase de musicalidad. Ella puede y sabe tocar suavemente, con una gama de matices entre pianissimo y mezzo-forte de extraordinaria sutileza, del tipo que se posa en el oido cual vibraciones de otro mundo. Su recital en el Purcell Room produjo un hechizo de inolvidable belleza” Geoffrey Cranckshaw. Musical Opinion, Londres
“Clara Rodríguez posee una gran habilidad pianística y especialmente una musicalidad maravillosa” Murray Perahia. Marlboro Music. USA
“Discos maravillosamente tocados y grabados que deleitaran a los aficionados del piano y a los amantes de la música en general.” Gerald Fenech. Classical Net

“No mortal can compare to Liszt” by Clara Rodriguez

14082503Written and compiled by Clara Rodriguez
Staged in Caracas in July 2011


· Pianist: Clara Rodriguez

· Actress: Caridad Canelón

· Narrator: Miguel Delgado-Estévez

Clara enters in  darkness and sits at the piano, a dim light becomes stronger gradually and she starts to play the Concert Study No. 3 “Un sospiro” by Franz Liszt

ACTRESS: Franz Liszt, was a Hungarian composer and pianist who has been described as the first rockstar. His extraordinary success led to terms like Lisztomania and Liszt Fever due to the hysteria produced by his public appearances.

NARRATOR: At the time of his birth, in Vienesse cafés, Beethoven talked to his friends of Bolívar’s triumphs in Latin America, it was the year of the signing of the first Constitution of the Republic of Venezuela, it was the year of  The Great Comet of 1811 times of change and wars in Europe, although his birthplace, Raiding, had barely become Hungary, it had been beforeTurkish territory. It was still a feudal country where the Lords lived in luxury.

ACTRESS: His father, Adam, worked for the Esterhazy royal family where concerts were the main activity . Haydn took care of the programming for 30 years

NARRATOR: Liszt heard in his childhood lots of classical music and used to also love listening to the music Gypsies played near his home.

ACTRESS: At the at age of  9, he played his first concert despite having malarial fever. The listeners were impressed. A subsequent concert secured him a scholarship that enabled him to travel to Vienna. There, he studied with Salieri and Czerny.

NARRATOR: Czerny with his disciplined method decided to teach him for free.

ACTRESS: They say, that in admiration, Beethoven kissed the hands of the young Liszt, although his detractors critized this saying that it was just part of thehype” done for the young virtuoso.

NARRATOR: At 13 he sets his home with his ​​parents in Paris, the most artistic capital of the time.

ACTRESS: Cherubini, then director of the conservatory, would not accept him as a student despite having prayed, cried and even submitted letters of recommendation from the Hungarian nobles and aristocrats. A sense of terrible failure invaded Franz and his father.

NARRATOR: Franz could anyway display his talent by playing many concerts thanks to these letters.In a few months he was considered the 9th. Wonder of the World!

ACTRESS: Cherubini !!!

NARRATOR: At the age of 20 Liszt met three people who had a powerful influence on him: Paganini, Chopin and Berlioz.

ACTRESS: Paganini had invented a mysterious form of virtuosity. His compositions imitated the sound of thunder, the humming of the wind, laughter. His figure was amazing because it was just skin and bones, just his fingers looked very strong

NARRATOR: One of the great ambitions of Liszt was to transcribe Paganini’s Capriccios for the piano.
ACTRESS: Liszt also reduced Beethoven nine symphonies for the piano thus helping later generations to know them.

NARRATOR: Liszt  deeply appreciated the creative, almost violent, genius of Berlioz .. It took him a little time to adjust to it but he studied the composition and orchestration techniques transcribing works such as the Symphonie Fantastique.
ACTRESS: Chopin spirit and musical poetry impressed Liszt, it was fascinating to see how he was only interested in the piano as a means of expression. The mutual admiration felt is reflected in the biography that Liszt wrote of the great Polish where there’s an  acount of the day Chopin appeared in one of the salons of Paris wearing a blond wig imitating his fellow pianist.
ACTRESS: Liszt was an intellectual, at age 22 he wrote to his friend Pierre Wolf:
NARRATOR: “for the last fifteen days my spirit and my fingers work like hell: Homer, Lord Byron, Chateaubriand, Victor Hugo, Beethoven, Plato, Mozart, Bach and the Bible are around me I study, meditate, devour with rage; practice between 4 to 5 hours daily exercise, thirds, sixths, octaves, tremolos, repeated notes, cadences, etc .:either I go crazy or I’ll become an artist !!! At this time he was broken-hearted as his ​​student Caroline de Saint Cricq could not love him…
ACTRESS: (dramatizing) My father has forbidden me to see Franz, I’ve heard that he has fallen into a depression for several months that has led to stop appearing in public, it was even published that he had died
NARRATOR: and the myth continued to grow.
In his deathbed Adam Liszt had warned his son: “Beware Franz, because from what I see, women will be your downfall.”

ACTRESS: Then came the secret romance with the Countess Adele Laprumarede, something a little less passionate but successful.


ACTRESS: Franz had amalgamated in his playing, classic old school with his new methods and virtuosic inventions. His attack and brilliance, speed and beauty of sound coupled with his intelligence and physical attributes had great effect on the Parisian salons, especially on the female audience.

NARRATOR: One of these ladies -friends with Berlioz- fell in love with the young Franz, Countess d’Agoult, who was married with three children. Liszt was 22, she was 28, blonde and goodlooking but with no sense of humor. Although she disliked music, her passion for Liszt blinded her, she would not take any consideration of the social consequences this relationship that lasted 10 years, would bring her. Some called them immoral, but for Liszt, it brought the necessary calm to begin developing his work as a composer.

ACTRESS: They were settlled in Geneva where Blondine was born. Franz taught at the conservatory. His appearance was still that of a teenager; his long hair was always a topic of conversation among his acquaintances, and in his index finger he wore a gold ring with a silver skull.

NARRATOR: A Punk teacher !!!

ACTRESS: Then they moved to Italy near Lake Como where Cosima was born in 1837.

NARRATOR: she was to marry Richard Wagner, in her adulthood, .


ACTRESS: They then decided to move to Italy to read Dante and the Classics. The success achieved in this country, particularly in Milan, was brought down because of a series of articles Liszt wrote in the Paris Musical Gazette attacking what he saw as bad taste in the Italian musical world, for which he was declared persona non grata.

NARRATOR: The relationship with the Countess had begun to deteriorate, too much responsibility was now imposed by having a household with five children, he saw all this as an impediment in fullfilling his career and travels!. Reasons or excuses were repeatedly discussed :

ACTRESS: “Franz, last night after your concert, on the way home,  you directed not one word to me,  why are you so cold?” Why do you have to play all these benefit concerts that keep you away from us ?”

NARRATOR: In a letter Liszt writes:
Marie! Marie! Let me repeat that name a hundred times, a thousand times. For three days it has lived inside me, oppressing and burning me Heaven, hell, everything, everything in you and you … again, we live with all our experience, love, and all our woe!
The day you can tell me with all your soul, with all your heart, all your mind,let us erase, forget forever, everything that is incomplete, painful, and distressing from the past; let us be everything to each other, because now I understand and forgive as much as I love you “that day, and it may be soon, we will fly away from the world, we will live, we will love and die only for each other

ACTRESS: Those words belonged to a dying love.

NARRATOR: These two lives were like two out -of- tune pianos !!!

ACTRESS: She returned to Paris with the children and he went on his globetrotting life to almost every corner of Europe.


ACTRESS: Medals,  sabers and gold swords were offered, Liszt was acclaimed and beloved as much as the little Mozart was in his time.

NARRATOR: In a letter he says “Prague is the city that has the best taste in music. At this time the aristocracy is delighted with me; women are at my disposal, men give in to this situation with some humor “. Liszt made ​​several tours in Russia with great success. At first, the audience saw him as an eccentric, there no one would have thought of appearing on stage flaunting such a mane, much less adorn the lapels with as many commendations, but all these speculations were forgotten when Liszt started playing, simply, they maddened under its spell .

ACTRESS: With his concerts he made ​​much money and came to build a carriage that must have been almost a caravan where he had a room and a study that contained a piano.

NARRATOR: At this time his number of ties amounted to three hundred and sixty-five. A different one for each day of the year.

NARRATOR: Liszt avoided returning to Paris for a while not to meet Madame d’Agoult instead he was traveling the Mediterranean area, accompanied by his lover of the moment, Lola Montes.

ACTRESS: That wandering life and the indiscriminate popularity began to tire him My life seems to be an endless search.

NARRATOR: “I feel I‘m marked by a heavy futility. Am I doomed to do this type of minstrel’s work for life?


NARRATOR: The Grand Duke Carl August of Vienna offered him the position of musical director of Weimar

ACTRESS: Before taking his post he would end one of his tours in Russia. In his last concert in Kiev he found a warm letter in his dressing room alongside 100 rubles.

ACTRESS: The next day in a thank you gesture to the sender … his life and destiny were sealed … once again.

NARRATOR: Her name: Princess Caroline Wittgenstein, eight years his junior, married but separated from a Russian billionaire Prince attached to the Tsar.

ACTRESS: A very serious person, avid reader and as religious as Liszt himself. She invited him to stay at her mansion where they were together for several weeks.

NARRATOR: Her plan was to sell the properties and divorce, but the government did not grant her permission to leave Russia, she managed to ran away to meet Liszt in the city where they would live for the next twelve years.

ACTRESS: Liszt was devoted to the composition and premiered as many operas as he could. He admired and supported Wagner of whom he said was composing the music of the future.

NARRATOR: Liszt also became a conductor and created the modern orchestra as we know it today. These were the years of the invention of the symphonic poems and works such as the magnificent Sonata in B minor.

Let’s listen to an excerpt of it

CLARA PLAYS approximately 10 ‘of the first part of the SONATA in B minor by LISZT

ACTRESS: After twelve years he was disappointed by how narrow minded Weimar was .

NARRATOR: If I had only dedicated myself to please the taste of the big wigs the newspapers would not have insulted me as they have.”

ACTRESS: He found comfort in the love of the princess, music and religion; they had hoped to marry and so they made a trip to the Vatican. The wedding would be held on the 50th birthday of Franz’s, at St. Charles the Corsican. On the eve of the marriage an envoy of the Pope told them that she was still technically married in Russia and that her husband was opposed to the wedding.

NARRATOR: What a horrible disappointment suffered this pair of beings! They decided to live separately, but always maintained a close relationship to the end of their lives.


NARRATOR: Liszt, by the circumstances of his life, was often thrown into situations that had similarities with Faust, he also was Mephistopheles! He seemed to negotiate with false gods not always getting the desired results.

ACTRESS: In the last stage of his life he had the appearance of a magician apart, wearing clerical clothing. He went on to receive the Provincial Franciscan Order at the Vatican and produced a great amount of religious works.

NARRATOR: After living in an apartment in this exclusive “hotel” he was invited to the Villa d’Este where he spent time each year for twenty years. What he really would have liked was to be named musical director of the Vatican but his past-and present-shocked society in Rome.


ACTRESS: The Duke of Weimar rehired him while the Hungarians invited him to create the Academy of Music in Budapest two invitations that he gladly received after his retirements in Rome he was feeling revitalized and free a new princess awaited him though, widowed with children and very passionate. The Baroness Olga  Meyendorff. But that was not the only Olga that would occupy part of his spirit, there was also Olga The Cossack.

NARRATOR: This young lady was not afraid of nature, hunted lions,tamed tigers, crossed the steppe on the back of her Arabian horses, was an anarchist, atheist, made animal dissections and ​​without possessing the necessary talent also wanted to be a pianist total failure !!!

ACTRESS: In her first meeting with Liszt she took a puff of a cigar and noting the figures of a Christ and a Virgin asked the teacher if “they” would not mind the smoke, Liszt replied:

NARRATOR: “My child, for them it is just another type of incense

ACTRESS: Liszt wanted to end the relationship but…

NARRATOR: She appeared in his apartment in Budapest with a gun, wanted to kill him and kill herself. Liszt  said that next to this girl George Sand was a shy schoolgirl.


NARRATOR: a young North American piano student, AMY FAY, travels through Germany  with the idea of ​​studying with Liszt

ACTRESS: Tonight I went to the theatre and I’ve seen him! Liszt is the most handsome and interesting man imaginable. Tall and slight, with deep-set eyes, bushy eyebrows and gray hair, long, which he wears with a parting in the middle. His mouth turns up at the corners, giving him an intelligent Mephistophelian expression when he smiles, his whole appearence and manner have an almost Jesuit elegance. His hands are very narrow, with long fingers that seem to have more joints than other other people’s. They are so flexible and supple that  just looking at them makes me nervous.

I have never seen such refined manners as his. When he stood to leave his box, for example, after his “adieux” to the ladies, he laid his hand on his heart and made his final bow, without exaggeration, just with a quite courtliness, which makes you think there is no other way to say goodbye to a lady!


He is all spirit, but half the time it is, a mocking spirit! For the first lesson, I almost died when he called, “The American, to the ringI played like I was possessed. He said “Bravo! You played with courage

NARRATOR: He gives no paid lessons whatever, as he is much too grand for those little things! On the other hand, he can do some cruel things, for instance, he will rarely mortify anyone by an open snub, but he manages to let the rest of the class know what he is thinking while the poor victim remains quite in darkness about it!

NARRATOR: I remember him saying once “When I play, I always do it for the people in the gallery -he meant the cock-loft, where the rabble sit- so those persons who pay next to nothing also hear something”  In his demonstration the sound didn’t seem to be loud, it was penetrating, far reaching.

ACTRESS: He never talks about technique in classes, only interpretation, but I remember the day he told me “Miss, please do not move your hands as if you were beating eggs to make an omelet,”

NARRATOR: One day, Princess Caterina was playing and he thought it was so abominable that he snatched the score and knocked it down. The princess, elegantly, did not alter but looked firmly at him and said:

ACTRESS: Now who‘s going to pick it up ?

NARRATOR: Well, Liszt had to stoop and pick it up, as a punishment he imposed himself to give the princess not one but two lessons!

ACTRESS: His nature is compassion, he is exquisite, GLORIOUS! no mortal can compare to LISZT.


NARRATOR: Liszt had other great and stormy love affairs and one day told his grandson: The great success of my life was never having married.”

ACTRESS: Liszt was in Parisalmost 60 years of age and everyone knew he hated the notion of child prodigies

NARRATOR: I have no time for those artists to be”these creatures never come to anything. “

ACTRESS: when he was introduced to a 12 year old girl from Caracas: Teresa Carreño who had been described by a critic as “Liszt in petticoats”. Against his will he heard the child and putting his hands on her head he said:

NARRATOR: God has given you the greatest gift, he has given to you genius. Work hard and in time you will become one of us. “

ACTRESS: Teresa Carreño said she never forgot the weight of the hands of the great master over her head.


NARRATOR: Always one single thought in my heart: To Die, always constant, that image is in my soul, to die. As my past, and future, my hope is to die,

ACTRESS: For him, death is a curtain that goes up and lets light in. It is a haunting image, it is the true joy or sorrow present in his music.

NARRATOR: Liszt died in 1886 in Beyreuth pleased to have witnessed a successful production of Tristan.



Photography by Antolín Sánchez