Watch pianist Gabriella Montero’s improvisation on Habanera

Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero is renowned internationally for her ability to improvise and she doesn’t disappoint in this video.

Gabriela Montero
Gabriela Montero in 2007. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Prompted by an audience member after a performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Montero improvises on “Habanera” from Bizet’s Carmen, one of the most popular arias in the opera genre.

Beginning with a baroque-influenced interpretation, it isn’t long before a distinctly South American theme emerges.

Montero has improvised on everything from Happy Birthday to the Harry Potter theme, which she turned into a baroque piece for Classic FM recently.