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Musical World

Elena Riu

  • Composer
  • Pianist


"Riu shares her delight in the art of touching the keyboard; there is much variety - passing notes tinkle delicately under the scale passages, the bass is attractively pugnacious, at times harpsichord-like in timbre, with much consideration given to colour, balance and making the music speak, which it does eloquently. The expressive scale is between intimate and demonstrative. Whether limpid or mobile, Soler's captivating invention has in Elena Riu a wonderful advocate".
Colin Anderson, Pianist

A crusader for new music Elena has given many world premieres including Sir John Tavener's 'Ypakoe', written especially for her and premiered at the City of London Festival to great acclaim.

"...My disc of 2000 is without hesitation Elena Riuís extraordinary CD of 20th century music.."
Piano Icons for the 21st Century was chosen by Gramophone Magazine as one of the year's best CDs

In May this year, Boosey & Hawkes published Salsa Nueva, a ground-breaking collection of 16 new piano works inspired by salsa commissioned and edited by Riu and featuring composers as diverse as Javier Alvarez, Errollyn Wallen, Tania Leon, Gabriela Ortiz and Javier Alvarez 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"
Jessica Duchen, Classical Music 05

This season's performances have included the Royal Festival Hall, Rhythm Sticks International Festival, Warwick International Festival, Guildford International Festival, Swaledale Festival, Festival Latinoamericano and Dartington International Summer School. Further appearances will include the Kenya Kijani Festival; New Quays; the Ramshorne Theatre, Glasgow; The Classical Concerts Society in Derry and University of Coleraine and a USA tour including performances at the Walt Disney Hall in LA.

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.

She was appointed professor of piano at Trinity College of Music three years ago where she is the Artistic Director of the new cutting edge contemporary music series New Quays.

Riu studied at Trinity College of Music in London with Joseph Weingarten where she won many prizes ands competitions. She was also a student of Neil Immelman, Maria Curcio and Roger Vignoles. Later, Elena won a scholarship from to travel to Paris for advanced tuition from Vlado Perlemuter in Paris. Elena Riu resides in the UK.