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Horacio Gutiérrez

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Horacio Gutiérrez (born 1948) is a Cuban-American classical pianist known for his performances of works in the Romantic Repertoire.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

When Fidel Castro gained control of Cuba in 1959, the family decided to leave the country.[2]

He moved with his family to the United States in 1962,[3] studying in Los Angeles with Sergei Tarnowsky, Vladimir Horowitz's first teacher in Kiev, and later at the Juilliard School under Adele Marcus,a pupil of Russian pianist Josef Lhévinne.[4] He later worked extensively with American pianist William Masselos, a pupil of Carl Friedberg, who himself had studied with Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms.[5][6]

In 1970, he was a student at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.[7]


Gutiérrez's performance career spans over four decades.[8][9][10][11] He was first seen on American television in 1966, on one of the Young People's Concerts with Leonard Bernstein, playing "The Great Gate of Kiev" from Pictures at an Exhibition, by Modest Mussorgsky.[12]

On August 23, 1970, Gutiérrez made his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta in Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto. Martin Bernheimer, music critic with the Los Angeles Times, described his first appearance with the orchestra as "spectacular".[13]

He was M.D. Anderson Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Houston from 1996 to 2003.[14][15] He is currently teaching at Manhattan School of Music.[16]

Gutiérrez is best known for his interpretation of the Romantic repertoire.[17] He has been commented for performances of the Classical style in music of composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms.[18][19][20][21]

Gutiérrez is a strong champion of contemporary American composers. He has performed works by William Schuman, André Previn and George Perle. His recording "George Perle: A Retrospective" was named one of the ten best recordings of 2006 by The New Yorker.[22] Perle dedicated Nine Bagatelles to Gutiérrez.[23]


He has recorded for EMI, Telarc and Chandos Records.[24]

Gutiérrez's recordings include:

  • Prokofiev's Concertos No. 2 and 3 with Neeme Järvi and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The recording has been acclaimed since its initial release in 1990. Reissued as part of Prokofiev The Piano Concertos in 2009, it was Gramophone's Editor's Choice in September (2009).[25] Bryce Morrison wrote in Gramophone Magazine, "...Gutiérrez unleashes some of the most thrilling virtuosity on record, storming the Second Concerto's first movement development/cadenza in a manner that will make lesser pianists tremble."[26]
  • Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 with André Previn and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Brahms Piano Concerto No.2 with André Previn and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini with David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony.
  • Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 and Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 with Andre Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra.


  • BBC "Previn Music Nights" with the London Symphony, (1975)
  • PBS Series: "Previn and the Pittsburgh," (1976)[27]
  • PBS Series: "Previn and the Pittsburgh," (1982)[27]
  • PBS Series: Live from Lincoln Center, "Mostly Mozart Festival," (1985)[28]
  • PBS Series: Live from Lincoln Center, "Chamber Music Society with Irene Worth and Horacio Gutierrez," (1986)[29]
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, (1985), (1986) (Three appearances)


He won the silver medal and was the top American prize-winner at 21 years of age in the 1970 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Soviet Union.[7][30] and was soon presented in major world-wide concert venues by Sol Hurok's management.[citation needed]

In 1982, he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in recognition of his musical achievements.[31]

He won an Emmy Award for his fourth appearance with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.[32]


After his debut recital in London, Joan Chissell, music critic with The Times (London) wrote, His virtuosity is of the kind of which legends are made.[33]

Personal life[edit]

He currently lives and works in the United States. He met his wife, pianist Patricia Asher, while she was studying with William Masselos and Adele Marcus at the Juilliard School. Gutiérrez suffers from bursitis and a chronic back injury.[34][35][36]


  1. ^ "Horacio Gutierrez Gives Engrossing Piano Recital". New York Times. 10 May 1976. Retrieved 5 June 2019. This young Cuban‐American virtuoso has an affinity with the keyboard that is given to few pianists, and it enables him to make distinctions of tone quality and dynamics that are not characteristic of most of the playing one hears.
  2. ^ Muller, Alberto, "Horacio Gutiérrez: El Mejor Pianista del Mundo", Diario de Las Americas, Oct. 20. 2007
  3. ^ "Stagebill". 1981.
  4. ^ Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Horacio Gutierrez, retrieved 3 June 2019
  5. ^ "William Masselos Is Dead at 72; A Pianist Who Loved Diversity", The New York Times, 24 October 1992, retrieved 3 June 2019
  6. ^ Page, Tim (26 April 1987). "CLARA SCHUMANN AND HER PUPILS". New York Times. Retrieved 5 June 2019. Only five of Clara Schumann's pupils left recordings: ……and Carl Friedberg, later an important professor at the Juilliard School and probably the finest artist of the group.
  7. ^ a b "2 Pianists Share Top Prize In Tchaikovsky Competition". The New York Times. 1970-06-24. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  8. ^ Chissell, Joan (25 November 1974). "Horacio Gutierrez Queen Elizabeth Hall". Times of London. His virtuosity is of the kind of which legends are made. ... he could become one of the very great pianists of the century.
  9. ^ Schonberg, Harold C. (1987). The Great Pianists: From Mozart to the Present. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  10. ^ Keller, Johanna (22 August 2015). "Gutiérrez, Milanov dazzle Chautauqua audience". The Chautauquan Daily. Retrieved 24 August 2015. Gutiérrez has matured into a truly great pianist, one with a mastery of architecture, whose long-lauded technical prowess serves a penetrating musical intelligence.
  11. ^ Mueller, Alberto (20 October 2007). "El Mejor Pianista del Mundo". Diario de las Americas.
  12. ^ "The Leonard Bernstein Collection ca,1920-1989, Young People's Concerts Scripts: Young Performers: Pictures At An Exhibition The Library of Congress, Image". Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  13. ^ Bernheimer, Martin (24 August 1970). "Gutiérrez makes L.A. Debut". Los Angeles Times. His name is Horacio Gutiérrez. You won't forget it! ..... Actually, spectacular covers only one facet of his performance.
  14. ^ M.D. Anderson Distinguished Professor of Music, Ward, Charles (26 June 1996). "Pianist Gets UH Post". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  15. ^ University of Houston faculty, retrieved 2 October 2013
  16. ^ Manhattan School of Music, retrieved 30 May 2014
  17. ^ Lewis, Zachary (April 2011). "Faces new and familiar produce dynamic Cleveland Orchestra program". Cleveland.com. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  18. ^ Holland, Bernard (10 November 1992). "Classical Music in Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2011. …was a model of how intimacy can, through technique and musical intelligence, be translated for the benefit of large audiences in big halls.
  19. ^ Kaptainis, Arthur (28 April 2002). "Great Vibrations Under This Baton". The Montreal Gazette. Cuban pianist Horacio Gutiérrez realized all the regal splendor of the opening allegro and the pearly romance of the slow movement.
  20. ^ Johnson, Lawrence B. (5 June 1999). "Detroit Symphony ends the season with a flourish". The Detroit News. Retrieved 27 September 2013. From his eloquently ruminative turn through the concerto's solo opening phrase, Gutierrez displayed an unfailing sensibility for the psychological sunlight and shadows that flicker in this music's every facet.
  21. ^ Kozinn, Allan (22 April 1999). "MUSIC REVIEW; Framing Flights of Fantasy With the Sonata's Formality". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  22. ^ Platt, Russell, Classical Notes Best Of 2006, The New Yorker, January 15, 2007
  23. ^ "George Perle A Life in Music". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Completed in 1999 and dedicated to Horacio Gutiérrez
  24. ^ Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Horacio Gutierrez, retrieved 29 September 2018
  25. ^ "Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice September 2009".
  26. ^ Morrison, Bryce (September 2009). "Gramophone". Retrieved 17 July 2011. … Gutierrez unleashes some of the most thrilling virtuosity on record, storming the Second Concerto's first movement development/cadenza in a manner that will make lesser pianists tremble. He is no less stunning in the less obviously demanding Third Concerto where once again his ebullience is complemented by flawless technique and musicianship..No recorded collection of the complete concertos, whether deleted or available, comes within distance of this.
  27. ^ a b Pittsburgh Symphony Radio Interview Pittsburgh Symphony Radio Pianist Horacio Gutierrez - QWOED, retrieved 29 September 2018
  28. ^ Live from Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart Festival, retrieved 11 November 2011
  29. ^ PBS Series:Live from Lincoln Center "Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center,", January 12, 1986, retrieved 12 November 2011
  30. ^ Performing Arts. Vol. 6. Performing Arts. 1972. p. 36. HORACIO GUTIERREZ achieved worldwide recognition in 1970 as the top American prize-winner in Moscow's International Tchaikovsky Competition.
  31. ^ Avery Fisher Artist Program "Avery Fisher Artist Program (Avery Fisher Prize Recipient)".(1982)
  32. ^ Krafft, Rebecca; O'Doherty, Brian (1991). The Arts on Television, 1976-1990: Fifteen Years of Cultural Programming. Media Arts: Film/Radio/Television Program, National Endowment for the Arts. p. 210. ISBN 9780160359262.
  33. ^ Chissell, Joan (25 November 1974). "Horacio Gutierrez Queen Elizabeth Hall". Times of London. His virtuosity is of the kind of which legends are made. ... he could become one of the very great pianists of the century.
  34. ^ MacMillan, Kyle (21 November 2010). "Last-minute pianist was key to fine CSO performance Read more: Last-minute pianist was key to fine CSO performance". The Denver Post. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  35. ^ "Horacio Gutierrez Cancels". New York Times. 10 August 1993. Retrieved 21 November 2010. Because of a back injury, the pianist Horacio Gutierrez has canceled his appearances with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra tonight and tomorrow at 8 P.M. at Avery Fisher Hall.
  36. ^ "Gutierrez Recital Canceled". New York Times. 17 April 1990. Retrieved 21 November 2010. The pianist Horacio Gutierrez has canceled his Carnegie Hall recital tomorrow because of bursitis.

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