Gabriela Montero has been named as Performance Today’s 2023 Classical Woman of the Year. This annual award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the classical music art form and have inspired our listeners.

Fred Child, Performance Today’s host and senior editor writes:

“I’m thrilled that Gabriela Montero is our 2023 Performance Today Classical Woman of the Year. She is a soulful artist at the piano, bringing out the beauty and humanity in a wide range of music, from Mozart to the heart-on-sleeve Romantics to 21st-century works. She is a fervent composer of music that speaks to the joy and tumult of our times. Her lifelong delight in improvisation fascinates and delights audiences around the world.

“She is equally committed to passionate work on behalf of emerging musicians in our field, and devoted to human rights causes, especially in her native Venezuela. Her unique combination of professional artistry and personal integrity brightens our art and inspires our souls. It’s with great pleasure that we recognize Gabriela with this well-deserved award.”

Born in Venezuela, Montero is a celebrated pianist and composer known for her visionary interpretations and unique compositional gifts. She has performed in many of the world’s leading orchestras and has received critical acclaim for her exceptional musicality and ability to improvise. Montero’s recordings have won many awards, including the Latin Grammy for best classical album, the Heidelberger Frühling Music Prize and the 4th International Beethoven Award. Her first full-length composition, Piano Concerto No. 1 (Latin Concerto), was performed in 2016 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

She also is a committed advocate for human rights. She was named an Honorary Consul by Amnesty International and also was recognized by the Human Rights Foundation for her ongoing commitment to human-rights advocacy in Venezuela.

“I am very humbled to accept the honor of Performance Today’s Classical Woman of the Year, 2023,” she said upon finding out she has been chosen for the honor. “My special thanks to all of you at American Public Media, but especially to our supportive listeners nationwide, without whom our music would fall silent. Keep listening!”

Montero was selected by the staff of Performance Today based on listener nominations, submitted in March.

She will be recognized on the March 31 episode of Performance Today, including a conversation with Child about her extensive career and accomplishments.