At the piano with Phylis Sellick (1911-2007) by Clara Rodriguez

In Caracas, when I was 16 years of age, together with my mother, we saw a newspaper advert for a competition that would take place a week later. The prize was a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London. With my teacher’s support I entered it and went along to the Escuela de Música Superior José Angle Lamas, the oldest of all the music conservatories of Venezuela with a long tradition producing wonderful composers.

The then directors of the Senior and Junior Departments of The Royal College of Music had been flown in specially to judge the competition. I remember playing Bach Prelude and Fugue in A minor from Book 2 of the 48, Chopin Etude Op. 10 No 1 and Reflets dans l’eau by Debussy. After some theory and aural exams, it was decided that six scholarships would be given to junior musicians: two pianists, one guitarist, one violinist, one recorder and one horn player . This must have been in May and by the 12th of September we were landing in Heathrow!

I was told on arrival, that Barbara Boissard and Michael Gough Matthews had thought that I should study under Phyllis Sellick and that that same evening I would be able to see her on TV as she was judging the final of the Leeds Piano Competition.

Phyllis Sellick was stunning! Everybody seemed to know her, even people I talked to in the streets, asking for directions as I got lost a few times in South Kensington-Knightsbridge-High St. Kensington! In a way, to me this was not surprising as I thought: “It’s normal, I am in Europe, here everything has to do with classical music, and piano” I remember people telling me that she was very good on Mozart and that her husband had been a very well-known pianist too but that she was the most musical of the two. (Sorry Cyril!)

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From the very first moment I met her at the RCM I bathed in a warmth and kindness that never changed in the 28 years I knew her.

The first thing that amazed me was her hands that were so soft, padded, very wide and with a wonderfully lifted little finger knuckle. The perfect hand for the piano.

She patiently, with great care, love, tact and a wonderful insight guided me and taught me the Art of playing the piano. I still go by her teachings, every day! I also do my best to pass on all that knowledge to my pupils.

I remember trying to tell myself: “this is it! This will be my profession” as up to then I had thought I would finish my piano degree in Venezuela and I would also go to university to study sociology.

I used to call her Miss Sellick until she told me: “Phyllis, please!”, she used to call me “Little Clara

Phyllis, used to say to me: “This is a world class conservatory, so you must play like a world class pianist” She would also talk about being a “professional pianist” an important concept that Cyril Smith and herself had with great determination fulfilled during their time.

During the first term with her one day she asked me “How long do you practice a day?” to which I must have answered trying to be impressive “two hours”, she said “you must do five” so, with a clock in front of me I started doing this, of course!

I used to have weekly lessons with her on Wednesdays and Junior Department lessons on Saturdays.

Very early on she entered me for a concerto competition where I played Mozart’s KV 595, and before that took place, she kindly organized a concert in her beautiful house of Fife Road, East Sheen, where I met many of my piano classmates that came from all over the world: Marta from Peru, Eva from Germany, Kim from New Zealand, Noriko from Japan, David from the USA, Karen and James from the UK. Norberto and Héctor, from Argentina, would kindly accompany me on the orchestral reductions and they would come to the teaching room at the end of my lessons to translate any important message Phyllis wanted to make sure I understood as my English was non-existent.

Then I made many more friends that studied under her and admired her, Andrew, the Cann sisters, Geofrey, Ann, Liz, Amanda, Adrian, Dominic, Ian…it is impossible to mention them all right now!

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Amanda Hurton, Phyllis Sellick, Marta Encinas, Clara Rodriguez, Eva Alexander

She had both a practical and a methodical way of living life and being in a “bubble” of love for music; she once told me that she only needed “piano music and coffee to live.”

She was such a kind teacher, always thinking of how she could help her students solve problems. She would give me a phonecall when I least expected it, to tell me something about a particular bar that I should play “pp” or how I should join a yoga class to help relax my shoulders.

Once she arranged for five pupils to come to my lesson to sing Bach Fugue in C sharp minor from Book 1 so I could conduct them and listen to all the voices. It was an exhilarating experience!

My studies with her were full of wonderful pianistic revelations, for instance, the idea that the piano is a percussion instrument and that we pianists, must make it “sing” as well as making long lines, connecting every note so that there is coherence in the phrasing, is a challenge.

This work of filigree was something Phyllis instilled in me even deeper. I have to say that I had had excellent tuition in Venezuela from my first teacher Guiomar Narváez and masterclasses from Regina Smendzianka from Poland, plus my own interest in playing in a way that did not produced unwanted accents, but it was under Phyllis’s light that I went on developing this side of my playing.

Phyllis at 10

Phyllis at the age of ten

Phyllis Sellick was born in Ilford, Essex, started to play the piano by ear at the age of three and had her first music lesson on her fifth birthday, she would say that going up the escalator on the tube was the best thing of going to the lessons plus when the teacher played with her. Four years later she won the Daily Mirrors “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred” contest for young musicians and was awarded two years’ private tuition with Cuthbert Whitemore, subsequently winning an open scholarship to continue her studies with him at the Royal Academy of Music. Thanks to her mentors, she later studied with Isidor Philipp in Paris, a pupil of George Mathias, who in turn had studied with Frederic Chopin, a fact that always fascinated us, her pupils, who are fifth generation Chopin’s students!

During her stay in Paris, Phyllis played for Maurice Ravel and studied many of his works with him, making recordings of some of his pieces on 78 RPM. I am very proud to have studied with her some Ravel works including the Concerto in G which she came to hear when I performed it at ST. John’s Smith Square.

For us, her students, it was so important that Phyllis and Cyril had had a formidably close friendship with Sergei Rachmaninoff. I think that Phyllis had a deep affinity with his music and its interpretation. She felt real musical passion and made me try to convey it in performances, all with a “steely” control! Very difficult to manage as sometimes the music moved me so much that I was not capable to produce any sounds from my hands! When I was about 7, I remember telling my mum how a piece from Ana Magdalena Bach’s book had made me cry. So, all these feelings had to be curbed in order to play the piano!

Clara Rodriguez at the piano with Phylis Sellick  Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeG8eSeRYME

I now realize how hard it must have been for her that at the height of his solo concert career her husband lost the use of the left hand down to having had two strokes. How much support she must have given him, so they could start a new career playing the four-hand repertoire with three hands. Arranging many pieces and having many works composed for them.

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Cyril and Phyllis on the steps of the Albert Memorial. Kensington Gardens

I immensely enjoyed listening to her stories about their efforts during the war such as their concert tours in Portugal and in India. How uncomfortable many situations were, from insects biting their hands during performances to seeing the most shocking social contrasts in those societies.

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Cyril and Phyllis in a broacasting studio in India

She braved the air raids, playing Beethoven fourth piano concerto near where a bomb fell jerking the piano up and down, ending her story thus: “fortunately I was able to continue playing”.

Or when she learnt to drive ambulances or those amazing stories during The Blitz when Cyril and her had to go to Broadcasting House to play Mozart D major Sonata, live,  having to run through the London streets under “a good deal of shrapnel” to take the tube- where people were getting ready to sleep on the platforms – to play the Mozart divinely!

On another occasion she had to go to sleep in the BBC to be woken up at 2.00 am to play the incredibly difficult Ravel Toccata for the World Service, “it felt like death” she said to me.

Phyllis Sellick, Cyril Smith and Brahms

Cyril, Brahms and Phyllis

Another beautiful story was the one of their trip to Ireland, their son accustomed to hear: “this month we have not got enough money because concerts have been scarce” the little boy was very distressed to see the Irish children wearing no shoes and with anger said: “their parents should play more concerts!

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Graham, Phyllis, Cyril and Claire

Sir Henry Wood insisted that they should play together and they performed together at The Proms in 1941, making many international tours and recordings as a duo. Composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams (Introduction and Fugue ‘For Phyllis and Cyril’) and Lennox Berkeley wrote music specially for them. Malcolm Arnold (Concerto for Piano 3 Hands and Orchestra, Op. 104, sometimes known as Concerto for Phyllis and Cyril).

Phyllis and Cyril were awarded OBEs in 1971.

Once I wrote a card to her in which I said that she had the highest standards of piano playing I have ever known and she replied that she would, on sad days, remember that thought.

I used to go to play for her until she was well into her eighties before my recitals or recordings. Her opinion was very significant for me. She went to all my major London concerts and would very sweetly give me a call the next day, invariably I would be thinking how many things should have been better played, she would give me lots of encouragement and often said: “I am your number one fan” in which case I would say that we belonged to the mutual admiration society.

She broke first her thumb and then her wrist and I remember seeing her trying to train her hand again by doing basic excercises and even playing Beethoven third piano concerto at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon successfully but not many other concerts were possible as her hand had been badly damaged unfortunately.

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Queen Elizabeth being presented a bouquet by Phyllis at the Royal Festival Hall. 1952

 

In 2002 she appeared on the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs. One of her choices was Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini to which she added “I would like Cyril to play it”. I remember the presenter asking her also, “How do you teach?” and she said: “I listen to the students and then tell them what I think” We both laughed when I pointed out how simple she made everything sound.

She died in Kingston in 2007.

 

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Clara Rodriguez at Arundells, Salisbury

 

Two Venezuelan Waltzes;
Chopin Ballade in G minor;
Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte, Prèlude-Menuet and Toccata from Le Tombeau de Couperin;
Rachmaninoff Three Preludes from Op.23;
Ancestro by German Dario Perez Salazar and
Malagueña by Ernesto Lecuona

“Clara’s programme was supremely demanding in variety and technical contrast and I felt truly humbled by her scholarly virtuosity and completely mesmerised by her absolute mastery of every aspect of the music as I watched her hands fly over the keyboard.”

 A Seligman Project Concert

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London Concert and CD launch “Americas Without Frontiers”

Wednesday 29 November at 7.30 pm at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly

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Venezuelan pianist Clara Rodriguez returns to St. James’s Piccadilly for an evening full of wonderful music with a varied programme of composers that include Chopin, Ravel and Rachmaninoff as well as a selection of fantastically joyful and intriguing compositions by composers from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela to launch Clara Rodriguez’s new CD “Americas Without Frontiers” on Nimbus Records.

Tickets from: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2981552

Dear friends,

I am happy to announce that I shall be playing a recital on Wednesday 29th November at 7.30 pm at the beautiful St. James’s Church in Piccadilly.

This time I shall be also paying homage to my teacher, the English pianist Phyllis Sellick (1911-2007) in the tenth year of her death.

She was and still is a great inspiration for my playing and my teaching. She transmitted to me knowledge from her vast artistic experience as well as the one received from her own teachers that included Isidor Philipp – fact that made her a great-grand pupil of Chopin’s – and from Maurice Ravel in Paris.

In London she and her husband, Cyril Smith, were part of the élite of musicians of the time that included names such as Michael Tippet, Vaughan Williams, Arthur Bliss, who all wrote pieces especially for them. Her admiration for the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, who was a personal friend of the couple, was unquestionable and she demonstrated a deep understanding of his music.

I have decided to play a programme that will include iconic works by Chopin, Ravel and Rachmaninoff in her honour as well as pieces from my new CD “Americas Without Frontiers”, copies of which you will be able to get on the night.

Dominic Seligman will read anecdotes from the life and work of Phyllis Sellcik; poet and Timothy Adès will read his English translation of the poem TIME OF MAN by Atahualpa Yupanqui and Leonardo Muller texts by Alejo Carpentier and Alfonsina Storni.

It is a privilege to still be able to make music in this world of ours!

Programme

Four Venezuelan waltzes:
Evencio Castellanos: Mañanita Caraqueña

Ramón Delgado Palacios: La dulzura de tu rostro

Maria Luisa Escobar: Noche de luna en Altamira

Teresa Carreño: Mi Teresita

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Three Preludes Op. 23

E flat No 6, G minor No 5, D major No 4

Frèdèric Chopin: Ballade Op. 23 No 1 in G minor

INTERVAL

Ludovic Lamothe: La dangereuse

Germán Darío Pérez: Tranquilamente, un tipo leal

Germán Darío Pérez: Ancestro

Maurice Ravel: Pavane pour une enfante défunte

Maurice Ravel: Three pieces from Le Tombeau de Couperin:
Prelude – Menuet – Toccata

Ariel Ramírez: Alfonsina y el mar

Ernesto Lecuona: Malagueña

Image by Carlos David; Photography by Antolín Sánchez

 

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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
Venezuela.
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.
Recordings

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
Ruiz.
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
pieces:
• 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
instruments).
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

Festivals
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.
Pedagogy

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
Panorama.
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
Show”.
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:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pianoclararodriguez/
Blog: http://pianoclararodriguez.blogspot.co.uk/
Wordpress: https://pianistclararodriguez.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VENPIANISTA
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Venpianista
Web: http://www.clararodriguez.com http://www.wordpress.uk.com/
Contact details:
Clara Rodriguez
Clara-0407847263843
clara.rodriguez@rcm.ac.uk

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 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 en el Premio Chappell. Con las orquestas del Royal College of Music se distinguió tocando conciertos de Mozart, De Falla, Ravel y Gershwin.
Clara Rodríguez también ha estudiado con Guiomar Narváez (Venezuela), Regina Smendzianka (Polonia), Niel Immelman (U.K.) Paul Badura-Skoda (Austria) e Irina

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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 con la Orquesta Simón Bolívar, así como con otras Orquestas del Sistema por el 40 Aniversario. 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 y Luis Miguel González.

Discografía
Sus grabaciones comerciales en sellos como ASV, Meridian y Universal han obtenido las mejores críticas. En la actualidad el catálogo de Clara Rodríguez comprende cinco discos en Nimbus Records de la música para piano de Ernesto Lecuona, Federico Ruiz, Teresa Carreño y Moisés Moleiro. Su último CD, “Venezuela”, contiene una colección de danzas de 18 compositores y “Américas”, su nuevo álbum grabado será lanzado en el verano de 2017.
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.

Pedagogía


Con una experiencia de más de 25 años, Clara Rodríguez ha sido un maestra muy solicitada de 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), que 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 Ruiz fue lanzada por Spartan Press Publishers en 2012 y está siendo 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 y el Trinity College, así como las universidades de Oxford y Cambridge y ahora están llevando a cabo carreras exitosas.

Como miembro del personal de la Royal College of Music (Junior Department) desde 2006, sus estudiantes han tocado en el Wigmore Hall, el Albert Hall (Salón Elgar) y han tenido éxito en la Royal Philharmonic Society Duet Competition, así como 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 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 más cubierto por 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 y muchos otros.

BBC Radio y Televisión

Clara Rodríguez aparece una vez al año 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 de este año fue invitada en el programa “Music Matters” dedicado a la celebración del centenario de Alberto Ginastera, donde habló con Tom Service y tocó dos piezas del compositor argentino. Sus CDs han aparecido en “CD Review” y en el “Breakfast Show”.

Ha tenido entrevistas en muchos de los programas de BBC World Service y France Internationale.

Desde su niñez, Clara Rodríguez ha aparecido 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:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pianoclararodriguez/
Blog: http://pianoclararodriguez.blogspot.co.uk/
Wordpress: https://pianistclararodriguez.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VENPIANISTA
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Venpianista
Website: http://www.clararodriguez.com http://www.wordpress.uk.com/

Críticas
Clara Rodríguez es una poeta del piano, si yo fuera pianista me gustaría tocar mis piezas como ella lo hace. Antonio Estévez
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”
En el número de Septiembre 2009 la revista Gramophone publicó una entre-vista 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”
La crítica aparecida en la revista Musical Opinion sobre su reciente interpre-tación 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 inexo-rablemente desencadenándose frente a sus ojos y oídos. Los que fueron se-dientos 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 ex-presivo”
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

Clara Rodríguez y Michael Collins rinden tributo a Fitzrovia

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Este jueves por la tarde se celebró el Festival Fitzrovia en el Bolivar Hall. La afamada pianista venezolana Clara Rodríguez, el conocido clarinetista Michael Collins y una maravillosa orquesta hicieron las delicias musicales de los presentes, durante este homenaje y recorrido a la zona donde tuvo lugar el concierto: Fitzrovia.

Durante el evento tocaron piezas de compositores venezolanos como Otilio Galíndez o  Juan Carlos Núñez y homenajearon a compositores clásicos como Mozart o Wagner. Los músicos que estaban sobre el escenario interpretaron estas obras con una gran habilidad y elegancia, transmitiendo el espíritu de esa música y de Fitzrovia al público y a la casa donde vivió Francisco de Miranda.

Sin duda, una velada inolvidable donde Clara Rodríguez, Michael Collins y la orquesta que les acompañó transportaron a los presentes, a través de su virtuosismo, a la Fitzrovia de épocas pasadas.

http://aculco.co.uk/clara-rodriguez-y-michael-collins-rinden-tributo-a-fitzrovia/

 

 

16-04-2016 ALMA LLANERA Soul of the Plains

Tickets from: http://clararodriguez.brownpapertickets.com/

or at the door on the day of the concert

Programme CLARA_A5_Flyer_2016.jpg

Programme details:
Clara Rodríguez SOUL OF THE PLAINS Alma llanera

St. James’s Church Piccadilly. London. Saturday 16-04-2016 at 730 pm

Clara Rodríguez, piano Carlos Nené Quintero, percussion Edwin Arellano, cuatro
Timothy Adès, Thomas Lyttelton and Leonardo Muller Rodríguez, readers

Ariel Ramírez:
Four Piano Studies: Bailecito-Cueca -Chamamé-Carnavalito

Federico Ruiz:
La peruanita (from “Pieces for children under 100 years of age”)

George Gershwin:
Three Preludes

Moisés Moleiro:
Estampas del llano /Pictures of the plains

Poem “Píntame Angelitos negros” by Andrés Eloy Blanco read in Spanish and in English

Antonio Estévez:
Ancestro-Ancestro-Ancestro-El Trompo- Florentino cuando era becerrero-Angelito negro- El pajarito- Toccatina (From “17 Canciones infantiles”)

Poem “Florentino and the Devil” by Alberto Arvelo Torrealba read in English

Heraclio Fernández:
El diablo suelto /The Devil on the loose

INTERVAL

Juan Carlos Núñez:
Retrato solemnísimo de Aldemaro Romero

José María Vitier:
Danza de fin de siglo

Simón Díaz:
Caballo Viejo

Alberto Ginastera:
Three Argentinean Dances
Danza del viejo boyero-Danza de la moza donosa-Danza del gaucho matrero

Poem “Florentino and the Devil”

Aldemaro Romero:
El Negro José

Ernesto Nazareth:
Odeon

Poem Apure in one journey by Genaro Prieto
Genaro Prieto:
Apure en un viaje

Germán Darío Pérez:
Tranquilamente un tipo leal

Pedro Elías Gutiérrez:
Alma llanera