Born in Venezuela, Gabriela gave her first public performance at the age of five. At age eight, she made her concerto debut in her hometown of Caracas, which led to a scholarship from the government to study privately in the USA. She continued her studies under Hamish Milne at the Royal Academy of Music in London, graduating with the highest honours. She currently resides in Barcelona, with her husband and two daughters.
Gabriela has also been invited to perform with many of the world’s most respected orchestras, including the Los Angeles, New York, Liverpool, Rotterdam, and Dresden philharmonic orchestras; Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Atlanta, and Toronto symphony orchestras; the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, and Zürcher Kammerorchester; the Cleveland, City of Birmingham Symphony, Philharmonia, and Komische Oper Berlin orchestras; and the Vienna Symphony, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Residentie, and Sydney Symphony orchestras.
In addition to her brilliant interpretations of the core piano repertoire, Gabriela is also celebrated for her ability to improvise, composing and playing new works in real time. She says, "I connect to my audience in a completely unique way – and they connect with me. Because improvisation is such a huge part of who I am, it is the most natural and spontaneous way I can express myself." Whether in recital or following a concerto performance, Gabriela regularly invites her audiences to choose themes and ideas on which she improvises.
Gabriela is also an award-winning and best-selling recording artist. Bronze medalist at the Chopin Competition, her debut disc, Bach and Beyond, featured her own improvisations on themes by Bach and held the top spot on the Billboard Classical Charts for several months. She has won two Echo Klassik Awards: the 2006 Keyboard Instrumentalist of the Year and 2007 Award for Classical Music without Borders. She received a Grammy® nomination for her Bach and Beyond follow-up, Baroque, in 2008. Solatino, inspired by her Venezuelan homeland, is devoted to works by Latin American composers and features her own interpretations on Latin themes. Gabriela's most recent album - an emphatic demonstration of the "total" artist as pianist, composer and improviser - features Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.2, Montero's own "Ex Patria", and 3 freeform improvisations. It earned Gabriela her first Grammy® Award for "Best Classical Album" at the 2015 Latin Grammy Awards.