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

16122932

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

Rhapsody in Blue at St. Martin in-the-Fields, Recital by Clara Rodriguez 14-04-2015

Clara Rodríguez, piano recital
St. Martin in-the-Fields
Trafalgar Square
London

Tuesday 14 April 2015 at 7.30 pm

Programme notes by Clara Rodríguez

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770- 1827) Tempest Sonata Op. 31, No. 2

Largo-Allegro Adagio Allegretto

The Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2, was composed in 1801/02. It is usually referred to as “The Tempest” (or Der Sturm in his native German). The nickname comes from a claim that the tormented inspiration of the first movement, refers to Shakespeare’s play. Beethoven recommended its reading in his reply to his associate Anton Schindler who asked him about the meaning of the sonata. According to my teacher Paul Badura-Skoda it is a sonata that is addressed to the soul and one of Beethoven’s great masterpieces, an original and powerful piece representing a decisive influence on the Romantic composers.

The first movement Largo-Allegro, is the boldest and most innovative of the three, it presents a free structure and sudden changes of tempo. Sombre recitativo cells next to quick quaver passages and an agitated subject share space in this most menacing movement. The Adagio contrasts with the chaotic feeling of the first movement with serenity and calmness, a sort of balm, with a beautiful hymn like melody.

The Allegretto despite having the appearance of a rondo is actually in sonata form. As an anecdote Czerny, his pupil, explains that it is possible that its initial rhythmic figure was inspired by a horse gallop. Its start echoes Fur Elise and some say that its gentle rocking-like rhythm is reminiscent of the infinite motion of the sea. It contrasts with the other movements in that it does not present human passion, the ending is restraint giving a sensation of simplicity.

Wilhelm Kempff says about this sonata that “the human voice of the first movement was carried off by the tempest and alone dominates the eternal sea”

Johannes Brahms (1833 -1897) Six Pieces Op 118

The Six Pieces for Piano Op. 118, are, according to Paul Badura-Skoda, “Late Autumn-harvest fruit.” Completed in 1893 and dedicated to Clara Schumann, the collection was the second to last composition to be published during Brahms’ lifetime. The six pieces are:

No. 1. Intermezzo in A minor. Allegro non assai, ma molto appassionato

No. 2. Intermezzo in A major. Andante teneramente

No. 3. Ballade in G minor. Allegro energico

No. 4. Intermezzo in F minor. Allegretto un poco agitato

No. 5. Romance in F major. Andante

No. 6. Intermezzo in E flat minor. Andante, largo e mesto

The first is a passionate prelude, the second intermezzo an intimate love song which enters and fades with an un-answered question “Warum?” “How so?” and contrasts against the defiant Ballade that follows it. The fourth intermezzo is based on canonic imitation which has the effect of your own shadow being chased by an unescapable ghostly follower. The Romance hints at a love song, the beloved one however is Death, how gentle is its lullaby. The concluding piece of the cycle is one of the most powerful works in piano literature; “Vanity, everything is vanity” seems to be the message of the main motive. The middle section evokes an apocalyptic vision, night riders approaching, bringing war, woe and destruction taking the music to an exclamation outcry of pain that gradually dies away. Despite its gloom, the music leaves an effect of catharsis.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Two Études:
Op. 25 No 1
Op. 10 No5

All twenty-seven études were published during Chopin’s lifetime; they were composed between 1829 and 1836 and represent some of the most challenging pieces of the pianistic repertoire dealing with nearly every difficulty possible in an amazingly musical and poetic way. They are studied by pianists to develop virtuoso technique but they are also performed in concerts.

The Étude Op. 10, No. 5, in G-flat major, was composed in 1830 and was first published in 1833 in France, Germany, and England as the fifth piece of his Études Op. 10. This work is characterized by rapid triplet figuration played by the right hand exclusively on black keys. This melodic figuration is accompanied by the left hand in staccato chords and octaves.

The Étude Op. 25, No. 1 in A-flat major was composed in 1836, and published in 1837. The work consists entirely of rapid arpeggios and harmonic modulations based on A-flat major. Robert Schumann praised this work in a dissertation on the Études; calling it “a poem rather than a study”, and nicknamed it “Aeolian Harp”

INTERVAL

Miguel Astor (1958- ) Two Venezuelan waltzes:
Adriana
Creciente –World Première

These two Venezuelan waltzes by Venezuelan composer Miguel Astor, Adriana (1987) and Creciente (2005) belong to his ample catalogue of piano music. The first one is dedicated to his wife and the second one, to me. Astor’s style of composing varies according to the medium he happens to be writing for. Miguel Astor was a pupil of Yanis Ioannidis, Modesta Bor and Antonio Mastrogiovanni in Caracas, which results in a mixture of very diverse influences, notwithstanding, his is a very recognizable Venezuelan idiom.

Miguel Astor was born in Caracas in 1958, studied Arts at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and has PhDs in Latin American Musicology and in History. He has taught in many of the conservatories and universities and conducts several choirs in Caracas. He has written for choir, chamber music and orchestra.

Federico Ruiz (1948- ) Carmen Rosa
Zumba que zumba

Federico Ruiz was born in Caracas in 1948, where he trained as an accordionist and as a composer at the Escuela Superior de Música. He is a much loved composer with a vast compositional output, containing an interesting eclecticism of techniques, forms and different media. Its scope ranges from electro acoustic music to large orchestral works, taking in, along the way, numerous piano pieces, chamber pieces, and the music for many films and plays. He has also written a trumpet concerto, two piano concertos, and two operas (Los Martirios de Colón and La mujer de espalda)
Carmen Rosa is originally the incidental music of a play that I saw in Caracas and begged Federico to write for the piano.
Zumba que zumba was written between 2002 and 2003. It is based on folk themes, using as a reference the pattern of the zumba que zumba type of joropo, which has a particular harmonic sequence, on which variations are created. He kindly dedicated it to me.

George Gershwin (1898- 1937) Rhapsody in blue

“It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattle-ty bang, that is so often so stimulating to a composer – I frequently hear music in the very heart of the noise…. And there I suddenly heard, and even saw on paper – the complete construction of the Rhapsody, from beginning to end. No new themes came to me, but I worked on the thematic material already in my mind and tried to conceive the composition as a whole. I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness. By the time I reached Boston I had a definite plot of the piece”. This was what Georges Gershwin told his biographer Isaac Goldberg in 1931 about the composition which he started on January 7 for two pianos; it came into existence thanks to the band leader Paul Whiteman who asked George Gershwin to write a piece that combined classical and jazz elements in the search of creating a North American idiom .

The working title was “American Rhapsody”. The title Rhapsody in Blue was suggested by Ira Gershwin after his visit to a gallery exhibition of James McNeill Whistler paintings, which bear titles such as Nocturne in Black and Gold and Arrangement in Grey and Black. After a few weeks, Gershwin finished his composition and passed the score to Paul Whiteman’s arranger Ferde Grofé, who orchestrated the piece, finishing it on February 4, only eight days before the première which took place at the in Aeolian Hall in New York City with Paul Whiteman and his band Palais Royal Orchestra and George Gershwin at the piano in a concert entitled An Experiment in Modern Music where many important and influential composers of the time such as Sergei Rachmaninoff, were present.

The piece was an instant success with the public and has become North America’s best known and representative musical work. The influences of jazz and other contemporary styles are certainly present: ragtime rhythms are abundant, as is the Cuban “clave” rhythm, which doubles as a dance rhythm in the Charleston jazz dance.

Clara Rodriguez, pianist
Clara Rodriguez is one of the most distinguished of the present generation of international artists. Her fascinating way of programming has consistently contrasted traditional classical music with the output of South American composers. Since coming to London at seventeen to study at the Royal College of Music with Phyllis Sellick, she has performed to great acclaim as a soloist at Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre and at St John’s Smith Square. Clara Rodriguez has also studied with Guiomar Narváez, Niel Immelman and Paul Badura-Skoda. In Caracas, aged sixteen she made her debut playing Mozart Piano Concerto No 27 with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra under the baton of José Antonio Abreu; from then on Clara Rodriguez’s career as a concert pianist has taken her to tour in Europe, India, Egypt, Tunisia and the Americas. Her playing is described as highly expressive, sensitive with considerable digital clarity and stylistic acumen. Glowing reviews are regularly written about her concerts and discography on the Nimbus label which includes CDs of the piano music of composers such as Ernesto Lecuona, Moises Moleiro, Federico Ruiz and Teresa Carreño “Clara Rodriguez provides performances of alluring vivacity allied to thatmost essential of requisites-CHARM.” Gramophone

She has also published a collection of dances by 18 different composers in her CD “VENEZUELA” of which critic Jeremy Nicholas wrote “Clara Rodriguez makes the most of her innate feel for the exuberant and languorous, dispatching the toe-tapping cross-rhythms with panache and a light touch. A treasure chest from which to cherry pick” Other CDs by Clara Rodriguez are Chopin Late Works and Clara Rodriguez & El Cuarteto Live in concert in Caracas.

She has commissioned and premièred many works including Federico Ruiz’s Second Piano Concerto which she recorded with the Orquesta Municipal de Caracas and played last year in the celebrations of the 39th El Sistema Anniversary.

Clara Rodriguez is a repertoire adviser to the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and has edited piano albums for Spartan Press Publishers.

Clara Rodriguez teaches the piano at the JD of the Royal College of Music.

Her 2014 Saint Martin-in-the Fields recital “Appassionata Sonata by candlelight” was received with a standing ovation from the large audience. The following comment gives a good insight into the programme played:

“World music indeed! The concept could not have become more clear in our minds after listening to Clara Rodriguez interpretations of works by Bach, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Albéniz, Villa-Lobos, the Venezuelans Teresa Carreño, Luisa Elena Paesano and the Argentinean Ariel Ramírez. Clara’s expressive and powerful performances conveyed great lyricism to a magnetized audience entwining the works of these composers in a unity of spirituality in time and space at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields. Clara Rodriguez has again demonstrated that musical poetry is a universal means of communication. A true tour de force, an unforgettable evening.”

“Clara Rodriguez’s vibrant temperament and her rhythmic èlan mark her out as a leading exponent of Latin American music. She is a very special artist.”
RCM Professor Niel Immelman

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