Venezuelan Pianist Uses Music To Promote Social Activism

Shelley Mosman / IMG Artists


Pianist Gabriela Montero is celebrated for her interpretations, but she is best known in the music world for her ability to improvise, composing and playing new works in real time.

Now Montero is gaining recognition worldwide as an honorary consul for Amnesty International. She marries her dual roles in her latest album, released this year on the Orchid Classics label.

“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes recently talked with Montero about the intersection of art and politics, and more specifically what she thinks of her home country of Venezuela and “El Sistema,” a publicly funded music education program that has been effectively absorbed by the Venezuelan government.

Montero’s composition “Ex Patria” anchors her latest album, and it includes Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2.”