Whether you’re looking for music for ballet class or simply an elegant collection of classical music for your own enjoyment, Curtain Call is an unexpected and graceful change of pace. The album features 21 selections arranged for ballet barre and center, all performed in the inimitable Gallastegui style. With classical music culled from opera and the concert hall, Curtain Call is a refreshing departure from the ballet standards so often used for dance class. An elegant Quartet from Bellini supplies music for stretch. A captivating passage from Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani is accompaniment for frappé. An infectious excerpt from Smetana is one of three selections for tendu. Mendelssohn’s beautiful Rondo Capriccioso and music from the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 are choices for adagio.
Josu Gallastegui is widely viewed as one of the country's leading ballet pianists, known for the excitement, imagination, and impeccable musical judgment he brings to class. Born in Bilbao, in the Basque Region of Spain, Gallastegui has won the acclaim of teachers and performers throughout the dance world. "Josu Gallastegui is a wonderful pianist," says Cynthia Gregory, "I think he is the best around." Allegra Kent considers herself "lucky to be in class when Gallastegui is the pianist." Mikhail Baryshnikov has said that "Gallastegui is a superb musician with a remarkable sensitivity for ballet."
In addition to his work as a ballet pianist, Gallastegui has performed as a soloist and accompanist. Reviewers have called him "an excellent musician -- technically superior, sensitive, and expressive," and praised the "great precision, sensitivity, and transparent quality" of his style. He has performed at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, CAMI Hall, Merkin Hall, and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and toured extensively in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union. Composer Aram Khachaturian, attending one of Gallastegui's Moscow performances, praised him as a "very sensitive pianist and extraordinary accompanist."