Garrett Harris 2 p.m., Feb. 5
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Influences: Ilana Mysior, Rudolf Serkin, Chopin, Mompou, Debussy, Beethoven
Mexican-American pianist Gustavo Romero is known for his concert series focusing on the music of one composer. So far, he has presented the works of Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, and — in 2007 — Brahms. The concerts are usually launched at the Athenaeum Summer Festival in La Jolla. During the debut performances, Romero also lectures on the artists at the University of California, San Diego.
A San Diego native, with heritage in Guadalajara, Mexico, Romera began taking piano lessons at age five. He gave his first public performances at ten, winning his first piano competition. His early teachers included Ilana Mysior.
After graduating from the Juilliard School, he won the Avery Fisher Young Artist Career Grant in 1983, and in 1989 he won First Prize in the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Switzerland. In 2004, Dallas radio station WRR selected one of his concerts as the best performance of the year.
In 2006, Romero performed piano concerti of Mozart in San Diego, conducting from the keyboard, and Mozart duo-piano recitals in Venice and Vicenza, Italy, with Massimo Somenzi. His performances of all Chopin’s solo piano works in six sold-out concerts earned him wide acclaim. According to the L.A. Times, “Romero showed an easy musicality, solid technical resources, a joy in illuminating miniatures and an unfeigned authority in this music in short, strong rapport with the poetic and lyric elements in the composer’s art.” The series was broadcast on NPR radio’s Performance Today.