Out Of The Blues

Listen to excerpts.

"The dynamic Venezuelan pianist Elena Riu has hit a potential jackpot with Out of the Blues, her innovative collection of freshly commissioned piano pieces" International Piano

"A beguiling landscape of mellow and funky sounds...Out of the Blues is the last in her indefatigable crusade to bring good music to a wider audience" Classical Music

Following the global success of her 'Salsa Nueva' CD, Venezuelan virtuoso pianist Elena Riu returns with a simple but strikingly original concept. An eclectic line-up of sixteen of the UK 's foremost contemporary classical and jazz composers were asked to write a short piano-solo piece inspired by the blues. To this collection Riu added three compositions by 'established' composers: Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Aaron Copland and Stephen Montague (an extraordinary re-interpretation of the Gospel classic 'Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen') and her own piece composed specifically for the album. The result is a wide-ranging collection of works, each one reflecting the strong individuality of the composers and yet creating a thematically unified whole.This widely-appealing CD features some of the UK 's leading composers in the classical-contemporary and jazz scenes. Riu asked them each to listen to their favourite albums and to draw inspiration from past and present masters of this genre. The compositions by Sally Beamish, Harvey Brough, Peter Cowdrey, Cimeon Ellerton, Julio D'Escrivan, Douglas Finch, Rolf Hind, Elena Kats Chernin, Ana Lara, Phillip Neil Martin, Lola Perrin, Nick Redfern, David Rosenboom, Huw Warren, Matt Wright and Nikki Yeoh are like a set of variations along the well-travelled road of popular music. Sometimes mellow, sometimes more rhythm than blues, sometimes jazzy or just plain funky, Riu's aim is to enthuse both seasoned aficionados and newcomers to classical-contemporary music through a kaleidoscope of fresh ideas, infectious rhythms and harmonic twists. Riu's solo piano is occasionally complemented by the subtle brushes of percussionist Joby Burgess (Powerplant, New Noise, Ensemble Bash).

"Elena Riu brings all the virtuosity, colour and refinement one could hope for in her interpretations" American Record Guide

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"She's done it again. Having caused a buzz with her New Quays Series, pianist Elena Riu has put together 75 minutes of salsa music to blow away those winter blues. 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, whether you call it world music, contemporary music or, as Riu prefers to describe it, "fusion". Salsa Nueva is just the kind of fresh air that this Venezuelan-born pianist loves to bring to her musical activities, and everyone else's.
MikroKosmos meets the maracas, Anna Magdalena Bach meets Chick Corea: professional and amateur pianists of all ages will respond to this thoroughly modern melange."

Jessica Duchen, Classical Music January 2005

Available from all major record shops and from


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

Available from all major record shops and directly from and Discovery-Records.

Piano Icons for the 21st Century

"My disc of 2000 is without hesitation Elena Riu’s extraordinary CD of 20th century music featuring, among others, works by Part, Sculthorpe, Janacek, Mompou and the premiere of Tavener’s Ypaköe…"
The Gramophone, 2001

Peter Sculthorpe Djilile, Night Pieces, Singing Sun
Leos Janacek In the Mists
Federico Mompou Charmes
Tavener Ypakoe
Arvo Part Variationen zur gesungdung von Arinushka


Music by Venezuelan composer Diana Arismendi