In 2010, Gabriela Montero engagements include a tour with the Kremerata Baltica, recital tour with cellist Gautier Capuçon, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as solo recitals at the Zurich Tonhalle, Beethovenfest Bonn and further concerts in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover as part of her next EMI release. She will also join Martha Argerich for a chamber music concert entitled Autour du Tango at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. North American highlights include engagements with the symphonies of Cincinnati, Seattle, Detroit, and Indianapolis, and solo and chamber recitals throughout the U.S. and Canada, including a stop at the Savannah Music Festival.
Both in recital and after concerto performances, Montero often invites audience members to suggest melodies for her improvisations. They propose themes from works ranging from Mozart symphonies to Star Wars and sometimes members of the orchestra make suggestions too. "When improvising," Montero says, "I connect to my audience in a completely unique way - and they connect with me. Because improvisation is such a huge part of who I am, it is the most natural and spontaneous way I can express myself. I have been improvising since my hands first touched the keyboard, but for many years I kept this aspect of my playing secret. Then Martha Argerich heard me improvising one day and encouraged me to make it part of my concert presentations. It was Martha who persuaded me that it was possible to combine my career as a serious 'classical' artist with the side of me that is rather unique."
An exclusive EMI Classics recording artist, Montero acquired many new fans with the release of her EMI debut CD, Bach and Beyond, in September 2006. This Billboard bestseller introduced listeners to her unique blend of traditional concert repertoire and dazzling improvisations. Her follow-up album, Baroque, also pairing traditional fare with improvisation, garnered two Grammy nominations (for Best Classical Crossover Album and Best Producer). On her most recent recording, Rhapsody, Montero is joined by Gautier Capuçon to play cello sonatas by Prokofiev and Rachmaninov, earning top ratings from the San Francisco Chronicle, which noted: "French cellist Gautier Capuçon and Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero have put their heads and hands together for a positively steamy romp through two great Russian cello sonatas, and the results are remarkable." Gabriela returned to the studio in February 2010 to record an album of Latin repertoire due to be released in Autumn 2010.
In January 2010, Montero was invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where she gave a seminar to a rapt audience on The Art of Improvisation. She was also invited to speak at the Cultural Leaders Dinner and The Power of Music seminar. In January 2009, Montero was invited to perform at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C. At this truly historic occasion, Montero joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and clarinetist Anthony McGill in a performance of Air and Simple Gifts, composed by John Williams. Other past highlights include her acclaimed performances with the New York Philharmonic, L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and UBS Verbier Chamber Orchestra under Antonio Pappano at the Tuscan Sun Festival, besides recitals at the Edinburgh Festival, Verbier Festival, Wigmore Hall, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Kölner Philharmonie, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, International Istanbul Music Festival, Kennedy Center Washington D.C., National Arts Centre Ottawa, Orchard Hall Tokyo, and the "Progetto Martha Argerich" Festival in Lugano where she is invited annually. Beyond the concert stage, Montero has been heard on NPR's Performance Today "Sing It and Wing It", where listeners call in to suggest melodies upon which she then improvises. She has also been profiled on CBS's 60 Minutes.