November 16, 2023

Award-winning pianist Gabriela Montero headed to CIM as artist-in-residence, piano faculty member

Pianist Gabriela Montero seated at a piano, next to a student at another piano.

The brilliant constellation that is CIM’s piano faculty has gained a new star.  

On Thursday, Executive Vice President and Provost Scott Harrison announced the appointment of Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero as a member of the piano faculty and the Jonathan and Linn Epstein Artist-in-Residence.  

The pianist and composer, an eminent figure noted for her probing performances, uncommon ability to improvise, and human rights advocacy, will commence teaching at CIM in fall 2024, and is now accepting applications for her studio.  

CIM has extended the application deadline for piano students interested in studying with Ms. Montero to January 8. 

“It is a true honor to welcome Gabriela Montero to the CIM piano faculty,” said Antonio Pompa-Baldi, head of CIM’s Piano Department. “She is a generational talent, a uniquely gifted individual who happens to be not only a great artist, pianist, improviser, and composer but also a phenomenal human being. 

“Having her as a member of the CIM family fulfills our aspirations to constantly raise the level of our already amazing faculty.”   

Montero is no stranger to CIM. In July, she visited the school as a guest instructor at the Cleveland International Piano Institute, a co-presentation with Piano Cleveland in association with the 2023 Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists. CIM piano faculty and Keyboard Division Head Kathryn Brown and Piano Cleveland president Yaron Kohlberg served as co-directors of the Institute. 

Reflecting on her experience after that visit, which included a recital at nearby Severance Music Center and a masterclass at CIM, Montero described CIM as “an inspiring place” where the environment is “all about collaboration.”  

“What has really touched me is the quality of the people and the philosophy of teaching and learning,” she said.  

A native of Caracas and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Montero is acclaimed both for her captivating performances of traditional repertoire and her remarkable ability to improvise, often on complex themes. (Improvisation was the subject of her July masterclass at CIM.)  

She has collaborated with major orchestras all over the world, including The Cleveland Orchestra, and is an active, award-winning recording artist and composer. Throughout her career, she has been a vocal advocate for human rights, utilizing her platform to raise awareness for social and political issues in her native Venezuela.  

At CIM, Montero will be the Jonathan and Linn Epstein Artist-in-Residence and a member of the piano faculty. In addition to teaching privately, she will conduct masterclasses and perform annually. For information on how to join her studio or apply to CIM, visit  

“CIM has a century-long history of appointing legendary pianists to its faculty, and Gabriela Montero extends that tradition,” said Paul W. Hogle, CIM’s President & CEO. 

“Gabriela is one of the world’s leading musical lights and will be a profoundly positive influence on our students and musical life at CIM. We are honored and excited to welcome her to our faculty.”