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Ana-Maria Vera, Reviews

CultureKiosque, 4th February 2005
Takuo Yuasa / Ana-Maria Vera
By John Sidgwick - Royal Festival Hall

And so to Ravel and the pianist Ana-Maria Vera. Still in her thirties, Vera has enjoyed a rich and varied career that few can match. Born in the United States of Dutch-Bolivian parents, she began her musical studies with her mother at the age of three. Early on, her gifts were recognised and nurtured by teachers such as Vida Novik and Leon Fleisher, and soon she was performing with major orchestras world-wide. In recent years, she has devoted much time to chamber music and has given memorable recitals with such artists as Ivry Gitlis, Steven Isserlis and Joshua Bell. She is now resident in Britain and she chose for her first appearance on London's South Bank to perform Ravel's G major piano concerto. And here, I have to hold myself back and curtail the flow of adjectives, adverbs and clichés as I attempt to describe Vera's electrifying reading of the work. The two outer movements glittered with fun, humour and superb pianism. Most importantly, there was a complete symbiosis between conductor, orchestra and soloist, so that the full range of Ravel's magic shone like a new sun.

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