After years of research into the roots of Colombian and Venezuelan Music, pianist Claudia Calderón has produced a collection of the best pieces of traditional harp and bandola folklore from the Llanos, the great plains of the Orinoco Basin.
This music, traditionally known as "Joropo", combined with other genres from the Colombian Andes, creates an exquisite piano repertoire, revealing an unexpectedly high degree of musical discourse. This repertoire is full of delightful hints of Spanish Baroque harpsichord music, set in the most powerful rhythmic context. Claudia Calderón has carefully transcribed the original llanero pieces for the piano and her ensemble, seeking the highest musical fidelity to achieve a perfect rendering of these fascinating sources of unique world music onstage, worldwide. This new Chamber music combination of piano and traditional folk Colombian and Venezuelan instruments is a breakthrough, bringing the sounds from the plains and the mountains north of the Amazon Basin to a concert format.
This show is also a cultural statement. By combining the familiar voices of the piano and the double bass with the surprisingly colorful performance of the maracas, the cuatro (small four-stringed guitar), the bandola (four-stringed lute) and the Colombian tiple (metal twelve-stringed guitar), the group reveals the profound musical and cultural universe between the eastern tip of the Venezuelan coast and the southernmost parts of the Colombian Andes. Piano Llanero brings these powerful forces together, and helps us enjoy a clear and authentic show of these relatively unknown but incredibly expressive families of Latin American music.
Piano Llanero Ensemble was founded in 1998 and has performed in Venezuela, Colombia, México, United Kingdom, France, China and the USA.
Colombian pianist and composer based in Venezuela since 1987. She specialized in performing music from Venezuelan and Colombian traditional sources, as well as barocque and contemporary piano repertoire, often playing her own compositions.
She graduated 1987 in Piano Performance in Hannover, Germany. She also studied composition under Professor Diether De La Motte and attended courses in Italy under pianist György Sandor, a disciple of Béla Bartók.
Claudia Calderón has been on the Chamber Music Faculty in Caracas. She has also developed ethnomusicological research in traditional llanero harp music from the plains and coasts of Venezuela and Colombia, publishing several papers in Venezuela and France. She produced the first complete and detailed set of joropo music transcriptions from historic recordings, setting a new standard in the study of this relatively unknown genre. She has given lectures at the Amherst University in Massachussetts and at the Mainz Universität in Germany.
Calderón's own works include solo piano pieces, chamber and symphonic music performed and recorded in Venezuela, Colombia, England and Mexico. In 1999 she created the Fundación Editorial Arpamérica, an institution for the purpose of
researching, rescuing and promoting harp and bandola music through educational publications and new compositions.
As a pianist, she has toured extensively in solo and chamber formations in Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, England, France, Germany, South Africa, China, USA and Mexico.
She developed a new repertoire for piano based on traditional music with the accompaniment of cuatro, tiple, double bass and maracas, which was recorded on the CD "El Piano Llanero I", released 2002 in Caracas. A second CD with piano solo works by colombian composer Pedro Morales Pino (1863-1926) was released 2004 in Bogotá.
Her new CD "El Piano Llanero II" was already recorded and will soon be published in Caracas. She is doing actually an artistic residence in Xalapa, Veracruz State, México, creating an ensemble with a baroque and contemporary vision of the son jarocho music.