"A pianist whose technique, musicality and intelligent approach made a profound impression on me." — Claudio Arrau.

Steinway & Sons releases Vanessa Perez’s "Spain" February 12th

Vanessa Perez — an intense yet sensitive Venezuelan-American pianist — has a new album, "Spain", coming out on February 12 on the Steinway & Sons label. On it, Perez plays Spanish-themed music by Manuel de Falla, a Spaniard with an attraction to French culture, and by his friend and mentor Claude Debussy, a Frenchman with a longing for Spain.

Her last recording, a 2012 Telarc release, was Chopin: The Complete Preludes. When she performed the Preludes live, she drew praise from the Washington Post:

"Perez dove into the Preludes as if discovering them for the first time, flinging them out into the hall with a kind of wild intensity that was often breathtaking, as if she were forcing these delicate hothouse flowers into the fresh air for the first time"

"Like many South Americans, my family has roots in Spain, but Spanish music was only a small part of what I would play. Three experiences drew me into it: Traveling throughout Spain for several years, collaborating with the renowned soprano Isabel Rey, and having lessons with Falla's friend, pianist Luis Galvé. These were not postcard experiences of Spain; I was bewitched by the true daily atmosphere of Spain, its rhythms, its dance, and its music."

On the album, Perez plays evocative piano suites taken from three stage works by Falla, La vida breve, El sombrero de tres picos, and El amor brujo, including the haunting and rhythmic "Ritual Fire Dance." Also by Falla are Homenaje, a homage to Debussy, and the Fantasía bética, commissioned by the great virtuoso Arthur Rubinstein.

The Debussy works — threaded through 13 tracks by Falla — are the second movement of Estampes, "La soirée de Grenade," "La puerto del vino," from the second book of Preludes, and Lindaraja, Debussy’s first piece in a Spanish style.

Stephen Buck joins her in Lindaraja, written for two pianos, and in the second dance from La vida breve, played in a version for piano four hands.

Perez has developed an international profile, playing prestigious venues across the United States, Latin America and Europe. The pianist has performed not only with Dudamel and Montero, but also with such top musicians as pianist Ingrid Fliter, cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Colin Jacobsen and conductors such as John Axelrod, Enrique Batiz, Gustav Meier, James Judd, David Gimenez Carreras, and Diego Matheuz. Reviewing a Perez performance of Mozart’s D Minor Concerto in Germany, the Dortmunder Zeitung called her "a virtuosa wild at heart and with a gentle touch," combining "spontaneous freshness and poetic expression." The Miami Herald, witnessing Perez in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, marveled at her "youthful fire" and "rapt lyricism."

Among other high-profile experiences in the studio, Perez joined superstar violinist Joshua Bell to record Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion for Bell’s At Home with Friends album, released by Sony Classical in 2009. She also teamed with Jan Vogler to duet on Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango and more for the cellist’s 2008 Sony album, Tango. As a solo artist, the pianist’s Chopin collection follows her 2005 album for VAI that featured Chopin’s four Ballades, pieces from Albéniz’s Ibería and a work by contemporary composer Suzanne Farrin. Reviewing that, International Piano said: "Perez can hold her head up high in the most distinguished company in Chopin’s Ballades. If anything, her Albéniz is even more impressive – impassioned, rich-toned and seductively coquettish where appropriate."

Perez was raised to age 11 in Venezuela, where she began her studies in Caracas, with Luminita Duca at the "Emil Friedman school". In the U.S., she studied with noted Claudio Arrau pupils Ena Bronstein and Rosalina Sackstein; at 17, she won a full scholarship for London’s Royal Academy of Music to study with Christopher Elton. She continued her studies with pianists Lazar Berman and Franco Scala in Italy, at the renowned Accademia Pianistica Incontri Col Maestro in Imola; she then completed post-graduate studies with Peter Frankl at Yale University and pianist Daniel Epstein in New York City. Perez made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2004, but her first performance in New York wasn’t in an uptown classical concert hall – it was at the downtown jazz shrine of the Blue Note, where Latin jazz star Arturo Sandoval had her perform his Sureña, a piece laced with Venezuelan folk melodies. Beyond traditional classical concert performances, Ms. Perez also collaborated in concert with the famed José Limón Dance Company in New York on the choreographer’s "Mazurkas," in their 2014 season.

At age 11, she was invited to Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, to make her concert debut performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica Municipal and conductor Carlos Riazuelo for a sold-out 2,500-seat auditorium.

Since then, Perez has performed in concert halls and festivals the world over, a draw for both her rich musicality and her alluring stage personality. El Clarin of Buenos Aires wrote about one of her concert appearances there: "To watch Perez play is an amazing show in itself. . Each phrase finishes in something similar to a caress of the keyboard, in a fast or slow gesture as suggested by the music's momentum but always harmonious and beautiful."

In recent years, her performance highlights have ranged from an appearance in the International Keyboard Institute & Festival in New York, the Gilmore international Keyboard Festival, and a collaboration with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under John Axelrod in Germany, to concerts with the Orquesta de la Juventud Simon Bolivar under Gustavo Dudamel in Caracas, Conductor Nikolaj Znaider and Teresa Carreno Youth orchestra, and The Casals Festival with Diego Matheuz. In 2013, she also participated in the prestigious Chopin Festival in Mallorca, and was guest soloist on a Tour with the Youth Orchestras of the Americas under the Batons of Carlos Miguel Prieto and Jean Philippe Tremblay.

A frequent performer throughout the Americas, Perez has performed in the cultural capitals of Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, and in Argentina’s famed Teatro Colon. In Europe, venues such as a the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Montpellier Festival in France, Beethoven-Haus in Germany, Wigmore Hall in England and the Gothic Hall in Belgium. Actively involved in contemporary music, Perez has collaborated with and performed works by such composers as Paul Moravec, Lowell Liebermann, Suzanne Farrin and Paul Desenne.

Perez has been featured playing on such radio stations as WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, WGBG Boston among others, and most recently on Minnesota Public Radio, Texas Public radio, NPR ‘s " All things Considered", and American Public Media " Performance Today". Pianist Vanessa Perez is a Steinway Artist.

Future performances in 2016-2017 include, recitals in the US, chamber music collaborations with the Dali Quartet in Memphis, with violinist Daniel Hope in Canada and the US, with pianist Stephen Buck in Puerto Rico and Latin America, and pianist Gabriela Montero in the Chopin Festival, in Mallorca, Spain.

Recordings and Media

About Steinway & Sons label

An imprint of Steinway & Sons, the Steinway & Sons music label was introduced to bring the music of some of the world's most talented emerging and established pianists to new audiences. Since its founding in 2010, music produced by the Steinway & Sons music label has consistently garnered widespread critical acclaim. Recordings on the Steinway & Sons record label can be purchased through ArkivMusic.com as well as Amazon, iTunes and other fine retailers around the globe.

Chopin - The complete Preludes

Other Media

NPR June, 2012 with Fred Child feature on "Performance today"

NPR May 2012 with Guy Raz featured on "All Things Considered"

Press and Quotes

Fanfare Magazine, 2016.

This album is titled Spain—a rather broad description, considering only one of the two composers here is Spanish. The program intersperses Debussy’s three Iberian-flavored piano pieces with music by Manuel de Falla, primarily transcriptions of his most popular orchestral music.

The main thing to note is that the piano is stunningly played and extremely well recorded. Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez uses rubato frequently but subtly to emphasize the contours of the music, in both the lyrical and dance-like sections. (On this showing, she would shine in the music of Granados.) The only time her rhythmic freedom does not work for me is in the Pantomime from El amor brujo: Falla’s languorous melody is in 7/4, but like many pianists (and conductors too) Perez contrives to make it sound like a triplet followed by a duplet in 4. Overall, there is not a perfunctory moment in these performances. Perez is skilled at setting an atmosphere, whether it is the flammenco panache of the opening of El amor brujo––almost an announcement of intent––or the nocturnal atmosphere of Debussy’s “La soirée dans Granade.” Her weighting of chords is finely considered, while the sensitivity of her phrasing is highlighted by a full, warm piano sound. In Falla’s major work for the piano, the Fantasía Bética, she cedes to the harder-edged virtuosity of Alicia de Larrocha, but provides a thoughtful alternative even so.

The notes are only adequate. Most of this program consists of transcriptions, but no arranger is acknowledged. Minimal research reveals that Falla made his own transcriptions of the ballet pieces, and also of his late Homage to Debussy, originally written for guitar. Debussy’s Lindaraja was the French composer’s first work for two pianos. Initially I thought Perez might be playing a transcription for piano solo––one exists from 1926 by Jean Roger-Ducasse––but I decided she must have been double-tracking the two-piano version. Then, in the smallest font anywhere on the CD cover, I discovered a reference to a second pianist: Stephen Buck. He also adds to the excitement in the Second Dance from La Vida Breve. Buck gets no other mention, so allow me to tell you that he serves on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase, has a Doctorate from Yale, and studied with Peter Frankl.

To sum up: This is an enjoyable program, the music-making is vital, and Perez is clearly a musician of distinction. I look forward to hearing more from her. Phillip Scott

International Piano, July/August 2016.

Spain review:

The Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez could hardly have given us a more vivacious view of Spain: castanets click, guitars strum and bodies whirl in the true spirit of Andalusian flamenco. Her Interaction between Debussy (with is lifelong fascination with a once exotic neighbour) and Falla (his music as "Abrubt as when there's slid/Its stiff gold blazing pall/From some black coffin-lid") is subtle and telling. Whether in the swaying seduction of Pantomima or in the bitter and acerbic utterance of Fantasis betica, Perez has no need of the American pianist Anthony di Bonaventura's advice concerning the lack of rhytmic focus in a student's playing ("imagine your bod without a skeleton, it would jus be a great lump"). She is joined by pianist Stephen Beck in two items, making this a scintillating and enterprising disc, finely recorded.

Washington Post, May 2012.

Pianist Vanessa Perez performs Chopin with passion, sensuality

Perez dove into the Preludes as if discovering them for the first time, flinging them out into the hall with a kind of wild intensity that was often breathtaking, as if she were forcing these delicate hothouse flowers into the fresh air for the first time.... Washington Post, May 2012

Complete Review

American Record Guide, July/August 2012.

This is exceptional Chopin Playing...Prelude ( Op 45) sings with dark Passion . One of the most compelling performances since Michelangeli's ..... ( Perez) has a natural feeling for rhythm, she rarely pauses to make a point, but when she does she never sounds mannered. There is a keen sense of cumulative buildup and an awareness of the works overall architecture.....This is emotionally bold yet finely nuanced playing, the combination you need in this repertory. Personal as these readings are, they don't seem self indulgent, rather, they make you aware of the originality of Chopin's Music.

After listening to this you know exactly what Liszt meant when he said that the Chopin Preludes " modestly named, are nonetheless types of perfection in a mode he himself created, and stamped, as he did with his deep impress of this poetic genius"

Complete Review

Atlanta Audio Society, June 2012.

Her approach to the Preludes is to invest each and every one with an immediate presence combined with the most crystalline clarity, as if this were to be her final word on the subject. That contrasts to the initial confusion many of Chopin’s contemporaries experienced when he published the Preludes in 1839. Robert Schumann’s reaction was typical: ...."They are sketches, beginnings of etudes … ruins, individual eagle pinions, all disorder and wild confusion." That bewilderment is excusable in an age when the synthesis of all the arts had progressed so far that listeners would have expected Chopin’s Op. 28 to be a set of "characteristic" pieces, each with its own implied watercolor sketch or "programme.".........

The diversity of the Preludes is remarkable. For instance, Prelude No. 13 in F-sharp may be in a major key, but it has a pronounced minor-key mood, with a connotation of sorrow or loss. Perez does some of her best work when capturing the essence of each piece in terms of its tonal center. No. 15, the "Raindrop," one of the best known of the Preludes, is also one of the most satisfying in terms of a beginning, middle, and end. Perez does a great job of defining its violent contrasts (portentous, stormy and dramatic in the outer sections, enchantingly beautiful and tender as a lovers’ tryst, in the middle) and its abrupt key changes. No. 24, with its formidable technical demands including a pervasive thundering five-note pattern in the left hand as the right plays trills, arpeggios, and rapidly descending chromatic scales, closing with three booming single notes in the lowest D on the piano is clearly one of her favorites, and she throws herself into it with abandon.........

All Music Guide, May 2012.

"As we listen to Chopin's music, we are convinced that we hear a powerful narrative drama," read the CD booklet notes for this release of Chopin's preludes by Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez. Perez did not write the booklet notes, but they seem to reflect her approach to the preludes, for which "narrative" is not normally the first word that would come to mind.....Perez is not a product of Venezuela's famed Sistema music education system, but her fiery, fearless preludes she matches the fresh, charismatic readings that have been coming from other Venezuelan musicians. The album is unorthodox at both the micro and macro levels. Consider the opening shot, the Prelude in C major, Op. 28, No. 1, where the usually dreamy, lyrical melody with which the piece trails off turns into a sort of ominous mutter. Perez takes it from there with intense contrasts, unusual although not unheard-of tempo extremes, and in general rethinkings of almost all of the famous preludes. This is welcome in the case of chestnuts like the Prelude in C minor, Op. 28, No. 20, where Perez plays down the funeral-march aspect with a slow tempo that turns the piece into a much more personal piece of tragedy. She leaves little space between the individual preludes, and the overall effect is indeed to produce one large narrative....Chopin collectors will want it on their shelves and hard drives. Telarc's sound, which picks up what seem to be foot taps from Perez, is as intense and almost confrontational as her playing.

El Comercio (Lima, Peru).

Vanessa Perez counts on having a prodigious technique, but many pianists of her generation and hereafter that achieve an extremely high technical level, do not have the capacity to communicate and move that this outstanding pianist possesses. If one would summarize in two words the interpretative qualities of this remarkable pianist I think it would be sensitivity and temperament ....

EL NUEVO DIA (Puerto Rico).

Concert No. 3 for piano and orchestra, Sergei Prokofiev's Op. 26 is of extreme virtuosity for the soloist as well as for the orchestra... and so was demonstrated by pianist Vanessa Perez with an impressive technique serving an interpretation distinguished by its clear and direct phrasing, very appropriate to the modernist attitude of the Russian composer...the pianist, whom the audience wouldn't let abandon the stage without the prior performance of an encore of a charming and dazzling Venezuelan joropo

La Nacion ( Argentina).

....showed clear evidence of an exquisite artist, who gives her knowledge with devotion and unlimited generosity, in the manner of the most eminent artists in the history of the keyboard.

Ruhr Nachrichten : Dortmunder Zeitung.

MOZART WITH A WILD HEART AND A TENDER HAND.

Matinee with Vanessa Perez and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra Dortmund’s Concert House ...The Lucerne Orchestra always makes an effort to highlight the details of a work. In Mozart's Piano Concerto in D-minor KV466 they were much more than a careful accompanying body for the soloist Vanessa Perez. Axelrod made audible how the solo voice and the orchestral sound blend and penetrate each other. An ideal partner was the recipient of a stipend of the Mozart Society, because she combined in her playing a lot of spontaneous freshness and gentle poetic expression. A virtuosa with a wild heart and a gentle touch of her hand is Vanessa Perez. She deeply felt the dramatic Don Giovanni World of the beginning; then she conveyed great calm to the Romanze, with little of the sentimental coating, which many other pianists pour over this movement, which belongs to the most beautiful slow movements which Mozart wrote...

Connecticut Post.

....the concerto opened quietly, but merely for a few measures before the orchestra turned into a stately, grand theme and transported us in imagination to a regal court for an important function. In another moment we knew what it was when soloist Vanessa Perez began to play with astonishing clarity and finesse. Not only was her every turn crystalline and pristine, but at the same time she had one passage after another overflowing with emotion. This was lush Beethoven...

American Record Guide.

Venezuelan American Pianist is spirited, Hot Blooded pianist, with considerable talent .She has an intuitive musical intelligence that hold’s one interest. Her wide-ranging expression can go inward, and she can unleash a torrent of Passion..

Miami Herald.

Vanessa Perez was the evening's soloist in the Russian composer's not unfamiliar Piano Concerto No. 2.... brought enviable youthful fire to Rachmaninoff's keyboard warhorse.. the Adagio had a wonderful rapt lyricism, Perez floating the main theme with poetic elegance enhanced by the dark, burnished MSO strings. Marturet and the orchestra provided well-upholstered accompaniment for Perez's high-adrenaline solo work, and the sumptuous climax of the finale made a grand and thrilling impact.

International Piano Magazine.

Perez can hold her head up high in the most distinguished company in this repertoire.( Ref Chopin Ballades) If anything her Albeniz is even more impressive- impassioned, rich toned and seductively coquettish where appropriate....Perez is on top form and the recording is superb..

Washington Post, USA.

Venezuelan American pianist Vanessa Perez is not to be taken lightly. She stormed through some beautiful works, most of them nearly unpla yable, at the Venezuelan Embassy on Thursday, her fiery impetuosity proving her technical prowess in works by Villa-Lobos, Albéniz, Ravel and Rachmaninoff....Even Mozart's Sonata in F, K. 332, had muscular energy as she raced through the Allegros. The Adagio was pure grace...

La Provincia, Como, Italy.

"Enchanting and supercharged, the words to describe the Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez."

Bonner Rundschau, Bonn, Germany.

"It is no wonder that Claudio Arrau was so moved by the technique, musicality and intelligent style of Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez; who played at the Kammermusiksaal of the Beethoven's House in the International summer festival "Bonner Sommer" in Bonn. She has incredible virtuosity that you could hear in the Beethoven Sonata op.31 in D minor and the Schumann Symphonic Etudes. Beethoven was interpreted with great musicality, and she does not let the "Tempest" pass you by. Very few times do you hear such a perfect and virtuoso Allegro..."

El Norte, Monterrey, Mexico.

"Breathtaking! Her interpretation of Mozart's piano concerto K466 in D minor was impeccable; her version of it was passionate and diaphanous. I have to emphasize the complexity of the cadenza in the first movement of the concerto that took me by surprise, due to her creativity. From the point of view of her expressiveness, I have to thank this pianist's way of playing which moved me in every moment."

Fresno, California, USA.

"...the two works by Franz Liszt that ended the evening were unquestionably brilliant. The Mephisto Waltz No.1, which is a veritable encyclopedia of Liszt' s technical innovations, was breathtaking in her hands. The standing Ovation the audience enthusiastically gave her was well deserved"

El Mundo, Caracas, Venezuela.

"The Chopin Piano Concerto in e minor with Vanessa Perez at the piano, was interpreted with great finesse, brilliant sounds, she was able to achieve the continuous flowing movement and clarity so characteristic of this music."

Messagero Veneto, Gorizia, Italy.

"...warm applause at the Bratuz for the Venezuelan Pianist. Vanessa Perez has proved to be an accomplished artists in her interpretations of the works performed tonight. The Beethoven Sonata ( in e flat major) was majestic, followed by Schumann Symphonic Etudes which besides the great virtuosity which this great work demands, one could follow the complex melodic plot, full of light and shadow, which mirrored the tormented soul of this German composer. The Chopin Fantasie op.49 performed with a diamond touch, never lacked full expression and feeling."

El Nuevo Herald, Miami, Florida, USA.

"...she is an intense pianist, who becomes one with her instrument, physically and spiritually, reaching that strange fusion where composer and interpreter identify. In her recital, she displayed enviable charisma and great virtuosity."

Tamàs Vàsàry.

I was very impressed by her genuine talent, musicality, technical ability, but most of all by her sensitivity and temperament, qualities rarely present so together. She should go very far.

Lazar Berman.

A pianist gifted with great talent, technical mastery, and remarkable performance personality.

Zubin Mehta.

Her level of musical perception and artistic awareness impressed me as much as her total command of the keyboard.

Peter Frankl.

Vanessa possesses a rare gift: irresistible charisma. Her playing is warm, passionate, colorful, combined with superb technique.

Claudio Arrau.

A pianist whose technique, musicality, and intelligent approach to the music she plays made a profound impression on me. It is not possible to find a young artist today better equipped with all of the necessary qualities that my school of pianists requires from a performer.

Contact Vanessa

Worldwide Booking

Contact:
Jennifer Rosenfeld
Phone: (415) 797-7512

You can also contact Vanessa at
info@vanessaperez.com

For Latin America

Enrique De Quesada
Conciertos Daniel
Av. Principal de la Ciudadela Quinta Taxco - La Ciudadela
1080 - Caracas Venezuela
Telefono: +58 (212) 835 5929
Fax: + 58 (212) 710 7036
www.conciertosdaniel.com
musicamerica@conciertosdaniel.com

Telarc

Amanda Sweet
Phone: 1-202-636-3507
VAI Music

Steinway & Sons Label

Amanda Sweet
Phone: 1-202-636-3507

Christian Feldgen Music

(German Record Label)


If you would like to contact Vanessa, please fill out the following form and Vanessa or her management will contact you at their earliest convenience.