Jazz players are known for their improv skills, but Venezuelan concert pianist Gabriela Montero brings that concept to classical music. “In my work, I’m in complete free-fall,” she says. “I have no clue where I’m going or what’s going to happen. The less I think, the more amazing it is.” Her third album, Baroque, drops Oct. 2.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: At seven months old, Montero’s mother bought a cousin a two-octave toy piano for Christmas and gave Montero a ball. “When my grandmother saw the piano, she insisted that my mother give it to me instead, but at the time, I was just learning how to sit. Within a few months, my parents noticed I was picking up tunes and playing the melodies back on the piano, so my mom started recording me.”

“I love long tunics over jeans and bell-bottoms. I like strong colors like dark reds and greens and love jewelry.”

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