Alicia de Larrocha was one of the main ambassadors of the music of Catalan and Spanish composers to the world. However, due to her modesty and desire to appear as little as possible in the media, her recognition has been limited to the field of classical music and she is a veritable unknown to most people not involved in or fans of classical music. The commemoration of the Centennial of Alicia de Larrocha's is a great opportunity for new generations to learn about who she was and what she represented, in Catalonia, Spain, and abroad.
The works of Antoni Soler, Manuel de Falla, Isaac Albéniz, Enric Granados, Joaquín Turina, Xavier Montsalvatge, Frederic Mompou, and others were a regular part of Larrocha's performances, but also those of Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Grieg, Debussy, Ravel, Rakhmàninov, and others. To categorize her, as is often done, as a pianist "specializing in Spanish music" is to ignore her extensive repertoire, which must be extolled as well through this celebration.
December 4th Concert Program:
Alba Ventura, piano
Mozart, Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310 / 300d
Andante cantabile con espressione
Albéniz, Suite Iberia, Books 1-2
Book 1: Evocación – El Puerto – El Corpus en Sevilla
Book 2: Rondeña – Almería – Triana
Born in Barcelona, Alba Ventura made her debut as a concert soloist at the age of thirteen with the Orquestra de Cadaqués conducted by Sir N. Marriner in San Sebastian and at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid. Her career as an international soloist has since taken her to the grandest international stages such as the Wigmore Hall, the Barbican and St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Svetlanovsky Hall in Moscow and the most important Spanish concert halls. Her activity has also taken her to perform in the USA, Colombia, Argentina, New Zealand and China. Alba has collaborated with conductors such as Albiach, Antonini, Diakun, Harth-Bedoya, Hogwood, Mas, Mena, Oue, Pons, Ros Marbà and Vásary, and performed with prestigious orchestras such as the Philharmonia, the Hallé, London Mozart Players, the Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the National Norwegian Youth Orchestra as well as the main Spanish orchestras.
Alba Ventura is in addition a devoted chamber musician and has worked together with pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja, Brodsky, Takacs and Casals quartets, violinists Boris Belkin, Gordan Nikolic, Leticia Moreno, Tai Murray, Lina Tur Bonet, and Francisco Fullana, violist Isabel Villanueva and cellists David Cohen and Astrig Siranossian. She is currently a member of the Trio Freixas.
Alba won the international auditions of the Young Concert Artist Trust (YCAT), was selected for the Rising Stars programme promoted by ECHO (European Concert Halls Organitzation) and has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth Rosebowl by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the IMPULSA prize by the Fundació Princesa de Girona and the Albéniz Medal by the Fundació Isaac Albéniz.
Notable recordings include a monographic album dedicated to Rachmaninov or the disc, "Études", a selection of twenty studies from Czerny to Rautavaara which was very well received by the public and critics. In 2019 Alba Ventura started the recording of the Complete Mozart Piano Sonatas. June 2023 saw the release of the album "Spanish Light", alongside violinist Francisco Fullana.
Alba is a professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Música del Liceo, and director of the prestigious Academia Marshall, once led by Alicia de Larrocha.