The Cliburn today announced that award-winning pianist-composer Gabriela Montero will serve on the esteemed jury of the 2025 Cliburn Competition. She will also compose a new work that will be required in the Preliminary Round and performed by all 30 competitors. This is only the third time that a composer of the commissioned work will also serve on the jury.

The Seventeenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will take place from 21 May – 7 June, 2025. It is held at the Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU and Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. The 2025 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition builds on the historic success of the 2022 edition, which was an outstanding embodiment of the Cliburn’s core tenets: enduring commitment to artistic excellence, the discovery of new artists, and the advancement of classical piano music throughout the world. It reached a record-breaking number of people around the globe, exponentially surpassing viewership and online engagement from its past editions. It has now become one of the most-watched classical events in history, with more than 40 million views on Cliburn channels across 177 countries—and immeasurable viral reach beyond that.

Gabriela Montero’s visionary interpretations and unique compositional gifts have garnered her critical acclaim and a devoted following on the world stage. Anthony Tommasini remarked in The New York Times that “Montero’s playing had everything: crackling rhythmic brio, subtle shadings, steely power…soulful lyricism…unsentimental expressivity.”

Celebrated for her exceptional musicality and ability to improvise, Montero has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras to date, including: the New York, Royal Liverpool, Rotterdam, Dresden, Oslo, Vienna Radio, and Netherlands Radio philharmonic orchestras; the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Zürcher Kammerorchester, and Academy of St Martin in the Fields; and the Yomiuri Nippon, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, Toronto, Baltimore, Vienna, Barcelona, Lucerne, and Sydney symphony orchestras; the Belgian National Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra, orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, and Residentie Orkest.

Montero made her formal debut as a composer with Ex Patria, a tone poem designed to illustrate and protest Venezuela’s descent into lawlessness, corruption, and violence. The piece was premiered in 2011 by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Montero’s first full-length composition, Piano Concerto No. 1, the “Latin“ Concerto, was first performed in 2016 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with the MDR Sinfonieorchester and Kristjan Järvi, and subsequently recorded and filmed with the Orchestra of the Americas for the ARTE Konzert channel.

Photo credit: Anders Brogaard