‘Riu’s vivacious articulation really shines. A beguiling performance of a unique programme’ The Independent
Venezuelan- born pianist Elena Riu ‘ brings all the virtuosity, colour and refinement one could hope for in her interpretations’ ( American record Guide). The ‘haunting sensitivity and strength’( Time Out) of her playing, an innate liveliness together with a vibrant combination of poetry and lyricism and unique programming flair have placed her at the forefront of a new generation of British artists. ‘The delicate precision of her playing leaves a wonderful sense of anticipation before every next move’ The Observer
Born and bred in El Sistema, Elena’s infectious enthusiasm for ‘ boundary- jumping’ ( Time Out), and for bringing new music to a wider audience has brought her accolades all over the world. Elena has commissioned, edited, published, performed and recorded over 40 new works giving countless world premieres including Sir John Tavener’s “Ypakoe”, written especially for her. ‘My disc of 2000 is without hesitation Elena Riu’s extraordinary CD of 20th century piano music’ Gramophone.
A leading exponent of the Hispano-American repertoire she has championed the music of Antonio Soler, Tania Leon, Daniel Erkoreka, Diana Arismendi, Hilda Paredes and Javier Alvarez amongst many others. Her CD of Sonatas by Soler was released to great acclaim by the Spanish label Ensayo. She is a regular visitor to the Festival Latinoamericano.
“Riu shares her delight in the art of touching the keyboard; there is much variety, with much consideration given to colour, balance and making the music speak, which it does eloquently. Soler’s captivating invention has in Elena Riu a wonderful advocate”.
Elena has toured extensively and has performed in all major concert halls in the UK and abroad including the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, City of London Festival, Warwick, Guildford, Chelsea and Dartington International Summer School, Montpellier Festival, Walt Disney Hall and festivals in Kenya, Venezuela, Argentina, Spain, Italy, the Check Republic, Scandinavia, France, and Ireland etc. Recent orchestral appearances include the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Caracas Philharmonic.
An eclectic artist, Elena has pioneered collaborative work with artists of the calibre of Javier de Frutos, Helen Cowcher, Thomas Gray, La Ribot and Kate Blee among many. She was the brain behind the sell-out multicultural Spanish Plus Series at the SBC and re- launched their Children's and Families Series with her company's Resonance visionary multimedia projects. Her most recent collaboration: The Adventures of Tom Thumb was awarded a coveted Fringe First at the 2006’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Her wide ranging repertoire includes anything from early music to world music in inspired partnerships with flamenco guitarist Juan Martin, percussionists Joby Burgess and Wilmer Sifontes and Vivien Ellis and Clara Sanabras among others.
Elena’s efforts on behalf of new music and as a keen educationalist led to the publication by Boosey & Hawkes of Salsa Nueva in 2006 - now on its second run. A ground- breaking collection of sixteen new piano works inspired by salsa commissioned, edited, performed and recorded by Riu and featuring composers as diverse as Javier Alvarez, Errollyn Wallen, Tania Leon, Roland Perrin, Gabriela Ortiz and Douglas Finch among others.
"Salsa Nueva is new music with a difference...just the kind of fresh air that this Venezuelan-born pianist loves to bring to her musical activities and everyone else's"
2009 saw the birth of another cutting-edge publication and recording project: Elena Riu’s R’n’B Collection and Out of the Blues CD released on Sargasso’s new S4 label. Premiered at the South Bank Centre this is a fascinating collection of newly commissioned contemporary-classical piano pieces inspired by the diversity of Rhythm and Blues.
"The dynamic Venezuelan pianist Elena Riu has hit a potential jackpot with this innovative collection of freshly commissioned piano pieces. Riu makes clear her intention to reach out to a youth market and there is every chance that she will succeed in reaching her target audience"
International Piano, February 2010
Forthcoming performances include the Purcell Room, the Sounds Venezuela Festival at the South Bank Centre, Frome Festival, Sutton House, Jackdaws Music Education Trust, Anglia University and recitals in Caracas among others.
"Riu’s mastery of the all-but-inaudible range is not only wonderful but a rare gift in this era of competition-winner; her balances in Sculthorpe’s Djilile are breathtaking" American Record Guide
Elena holds a Professorship at Trinity-Laban where she was also the Artistic Director of the new cutting edge contemporary music s series New Quays. Elena Riu resides in the UK. Please contact:
Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
www.elenariu.com tel: 020 7241 3563