"…Elena Riu is the Hispano-American pianist, resident in Britain, who has done so much to revive interest in the late Catalan composer Federico Mompou…"
Time Out

Elena has championed the music of Hispano-American composers all over the world including "crusades" to promote the works of Mompou and Soler.
She has premiered works by composers including Abril, Marco, Lorenz, Arismendi, Izarra Diez, Escribano and Halffter.

Elena Riu’s Salsa Nueva
16 NEW piano works by renowned classical composers from the UK and the Americas inspired by Salsa

“It is not often that I put on a CD of new music and find my feet going bananas to the rhythm under my desk. But Elena Riu’s 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.”
Classical Music 2005
Following the packed and rapturous foot tapping reception of the project’s premiere last July at the SBC Rhythm Sticks International Festival by COMO NO! and at the Dartington International Summer School Salsa Nueva has firmly demonstrated its wide appeal, bringing a new audience to listen to contemporary classical works. With support from the Arts Council, a CD released in December on the SOMM Label and scores published by Boosey & Hawkes, the project has taken off with performances and workshops at festivals and venues across the UK and beyond.
Vibrant Salsa beats meet contemporary-classical piano in a visionary cross-cultural melting pot of new works. Set against the background of Salsa's African, Spanish and Cuban roots, daring new grooves of the Danzon, Son, Clave Rumba and Guaguanco are remixed in 16 premieres by top international composers revealing a new vision of Salsa.
New works by Alwynne Pritchard, Deirdre Gribbin, Errollyn Wallen, Javier Alvarez, Hilda Paredes, Gabriela Ortiz, Diana Arismendi, Douglas Finch, Adina Izarra, Tania Leon, Aldo Lopez Gavilan, Ricardo Lorenz, Roland Perrin, Elena Riu, Alfredo Rugeles, Alonso Toro. Plus Works by Antonio Estevez, Chick Corea, Argeliers Leon, Federico Mompou.
Salsa Nueva, commissioned with funds from the Dartington International Summer School 2004 and published by Boosey & Hawkes is a totally new departure for the classical piano repertoire. The project not only presents an over view of salsa’s roots but brings it bang up to date with 16 works written in 2004. Optional Latin percussion parts in some pieces enhance the authenticity and its appeal to new audiences.

New Collaboration
with Spanish singer Clara Sanabras exploring popular roots in the classical repertoire.


"…A highly original amalgam of dance, music, design and cabaret at the South Bank Centre..." Classical Music. Four ground-breaking sell-out concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room set the trend for the multimedia and collaborative concert making for which London is renown.

Spanish Plus Matthew Hawkins, Olivia Balckburn, Peter Bridges, Polly Hayes, Kandinsky String Quartet. Mompou-Turina-Schumann-Lorca.

Latin Plus celebrates the excitement, energy and passion that permeate Latin American and Spanish music and dance. Including: Javier de Frutos, Montes-Kircher guitar duo, Elena Riu, Mauricio Ortiz’s visuals, Jan Niedojadlo’s rubber sculptural tunnel.

Duende is that special quality, that "grace" that is intrinsic to good art. The inexplicable reason why something moves us, that transcends ordinary experience. Including: Elena Riu, Juan Martin and Suraya Hilal
World premiere of Journey to Light with a score by Peter Cowdrey, flamenco and Albeniz and Falla.

From Mecca to Cordoba follows on a journey of musical connections across time. From the spellbinding deep song and melismatic incantations of medieval Andalucia to the celestial harmonies of Christian Spain and the ebullience and mystery of Albeniz’s Cordoba, where the Arabic and Byzantine traditions co-exist in eerie harmony.
The spell of the South resonates in today’s world within the hauntingly mystical charm of Mompou’s Magic Chants.
Including: The Tallis Scholars, Joglaresa and Elena Riu.
Morales-Victoria-Albeniz-Mompou-Christian/Muslim/ Jewish medieval music.

"… There was a fascinating blend of styles at the Queen Elizabeth Hall when concert pianist Elena Riu devised and presented from Mecca to Cordoba…"
Early Music Review, 2001

Festival including four mayor concerts at the Union Chapel (Time Out 2002 award for best venue of the year) ten workshops, lecture recitals, a piano competition and student concerts designed to explore and promote all things Spanish with a focus on contemporary music.
Performers included Linda Hirst, Michael Thomas, Carmen Bravo de Mompou, Daryl Runswick, Continuum Ensemble, Carlos Bonell, Juan Martin, Juan Enric Lluna, Dufay Collective and Vivien Ellis.


Concert and lecture recitals that featured composers Hilda Paredes, Diana Arismendi, Alfredo Rugeles & Gabriela Ortiz.


Premieres of works by Hispano-American composers

Forthcoming recording of music by 18th century monk known as the Spanish Scarlatti. Soler’s wonderful keyboard sonatas will be released later in 2002 by the Spanish label Ensayo.