Hispano-American pianist Elena Riu is an inspiring artist renowned for the intimacy and lyricism of her playing who is at the forefront of a new generation of British pianists.
Hispano-American pianist Elena Riu, an inspiring artist renowned for the intimacy and lyricism of her playing, is at the forefront of a new generation of British pianists. Her 'sensitivity, refinement and marvellous musicality' (L'Herault du Jour) led John Tavener to write her his first major solo work for piano in over twenty years, which Elena premièred at the 1999 City of London Festival to great acclaim. A born communicator, her enthusiasm and charm create a unique atmosphere in the concert hall, captivating audiences throughout the world.
A leading exponent of the Spanish piano repertoire, Riu has championed the music of composers like Mompou, Soler and Halffter around the world as well as being the artistic director of the South Bank Centre's innovative Spanish Plus series. She gave the Mompou Centenary Concert at the Wigmore Hall and, later, embarked on a Soler crusade that culminated in a performance of his keyboard sonatas at the London's Purcell Room.
Riu has performed widely at major venues and festivals in the UK and abroad. Her eclectic and visionary programming has included collaborations with Juan Martin, the Brodsky Quartet, Javier de Frutos and La Ribot. She has given recitals and masterclasses at Dartington International Summer School and has produced several groundbreaking multimedia events for children for the South Bank Centre's Children and Families series. At Chard International Festival she premièred works by Latin American composers, exploring the transcultural elements of their work. She also gave gala performances for Manuel de Falla's anniversary with the BBC Concert Orchestra, performed Bartók's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion at the South Bank Centre in his anniversary year, and took part in the quincentenary celebrations of Columbus' arrival in South America.
Elena's engagements include appearances at Montpellier/Radio France International Festival, Alicante International Contemporary Music Festival, Forfest in the Czech Republic, City of London Festival, Vale of Glamorgan Festival, Canterbury Festival and Salisbury Festival, as well as performances at numerous other venues in Germany, Italy, Spain, South America, Ireland, Scotland, France and Norway. She has also given numerous live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, Czech Radio and Television, Radio Nacional Espanola, Radio France and CBS Radio.