As the Washington Post lauded, Venezuelan-American pianist Vanessa Perez "is not to be taken lightly.” Praised for her bold, passionate performing style allied with musicianship of keen sensitivity, Ms. Perez has performed on most of the world’s great concert stages. But her first performance in New York wasn’t in an uptown classical concert hall – it was at the downtown jazz shrine of the Blue Note, where Latin jazz star Arturo Sandoval invited her to perform his “Sureña,” a piece laced with Venezuelan folk melodies. This special ability to move with ease through the classical, folk, and popular music worlds has become her hallmark, and Ms. Perez continues to broaden the definition of the classical pianist.

A first in Perez’ unique career was her role in the concert documentary New Worlds: Cradle of Civilization, created by cellist Jan Vogler and led by Bill Murray. The ensemble toured the world from 2017-19, including stops at most of the world’s most prestigious concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Sydney Opera House, Elbphilharmonie, and more. Director Andrew Muscato filmed their performance at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, and this unprecedented feature was officially selected by the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. A live encore performance by the quartet followed the premiere, which received a standing ovation. The film was released in theaters in the United States, on February 2nd, 2022, and made its European, Australian, New Zealand premiere in theaters on March 2022. The concert film features a blend of poetry, literature, popular song and classical music by very diverse artists like Whitman, Gershwin, Shostakovich, Lucille Clifton, and Van Morrison, to name just a few.

One of Ms. Perez’ missions is to stage Latin American music with different ensembles and collaborations. Together with her husband and artistic partner Stephen Buck, arranger/composer for New Worlds and other projects, they have embarked on different journeys to include Latin American works from the classical genre and beyond, including mariachi, boleros, salsa, and more. The programs are inspired by the richness, diversity, and political history of the American continents, and the common human themes that knit them together. Notably, some programs include literature and dance: during the spring of 2021, Ms. Perez and Dr. Buck premiered the Americas program at the Four Arts Society in Palm Beach. Headlined by iconic actor Bill Murray, and featuring violinist Philippe Quint and ondist Suzanne Farrin, it included fascinating juxtapositions of Aztec poetry with Messiaen; Simón Bolívar with Beethoven; Don Quixote with Antonio Soler; and poetry by Jose Marti (which Mr. Murray even sang in Spanish).

Most recently Ms. Perez collaborated with Latin Grammy winner Kristhyan Benítez on A fuego lento for two pianos, a program that combines standard two-piano repertoire with new arrangements by Stephen Buck. Rachmaninov shares the stage with legendary Latin songwriters, including Chilean Violeta Parra, Argentinian Horacio Salgán, Mexican Juan Gabriel, and others; the program premiered in June 2023 at the Sounds of Oradea Festival in Romania. Ms. Perez is also collaborating with the renowned Dalí Quartet on a program that moves from the streets of Panama to the classical concert stage, including music by Latin legends Willie Colón and Simón Díaz, reimagined for piano quintet by Stephen Buck; Miguel del Águila’s CLOCKS; and Clarice Assad’s quintet.

Ms. Perez’s traditional performance highlights have ranged from concerts with the Orquesta de la Juventud Simón Bolívar under Gustavo Dudamel in Caracas, and under Diego Matheuz in Puerto Rico’s Casals Festival, to the Chopin Festival of Majorca, Spain. She also toured Central America with the Orchestra of the Americas under Carlos Miguel Prieto and Jean Philippe Tremblay. She has played with symphony orchestras in the U.S. from Miami to Minnesota to Vermont and in solo recitals from Manhattan to San Diego. In Europe, as soloist, Perez has performed at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Montpellier Festival in France, Konzerthaus in Berlin, and the Wigmore Hall in London, among others.

As a recording artist, Perez’ solo album Spain was released by the Steinway & Sons label in 2016. On this atmospheric recording, the pianist performs music by Manuel de Falla, and his friend and mentor Claude Debussy. Critics were suitably beguiled by Spain, with the review in International Piano declaring: “The Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez could hardly have given us a more vivacious view of Spain: castanets click, guitars strum and bodies whirl in the true spirit of Andalusian flamenco.” All Music Guide seconded that view, hailing the album as “strong [and] exciting.” Perez’s previous recording, released in 2012 by Telarc, was Chopin: The Complete Preludes – an acclaimed milestone in her discography. The Washington Post reviewed a performance of the preludes, marveling: “Perez dove into the Preludes as if discovering them for the first time, flinging them out into the hall with a kind of wild intensity that was often breathtaking, as if she were forcing these delicate hothouse flowers into the fresh air for the first time.” Perez’s debut solo album, released by VAI in 2005, featured the pianist in Chopin’s four dramatic Ballades, pieces from Isaac Albéniz’s landmark Iberia, and a work by composer Suzanne Farrin. Reviewing her VAI release, International Piano said: “Perez can hold her head up high in the most distinguished company in Chopin’s Ballades. If anything, her Albéniz is even more impressive – impassioned, rich-toned and seductively coquettish where appropriate.” In addition to her solo albums, Perez has been a featured guest on hit recordings by other high-profile artists. Superstar violinist Joshua Bell invited the pianist to record Astor Piazzolla’s “Oblivion” with him for his At Home with Friends album, released by Sony Classical in 2009. She also teamed with Jan Vogler to duet on Piazzolla’s “Le Grand Tango” and more for his 2008 Sony album Tango, and her latest collaboration with actor Bill Murray, cellist Jan Vogler, and violinist Mira Wang titled New Worlds was released in 2017 on Decca Gold.

With her recordings and many concerts, Perez has developed a significant international profile, playing some of the most prestigious venues across the U.S., Latin America and Europe. The pianist has performed with conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Gustav Meier, James Judd, Ligia Amadio, David Gimenez Carreras, Carlos Izcaray, Diego Matheuz, John Axelrod, Eduardo Marturet, and Carlos Miguel Prieto. Chamber music collaborators include pianists Gabriela Montero, Ingrid Fliter and Kristhyan Benitez; violinists Daniel Hope and Philippe Quint; sopranos Isabel Rey and Heather Buck; and the Dali, American, and Avalon string quartets.

Reviewing Ms. Perez’ performance of Mozart’s D Minor Concerto in Germany with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Dortmunder Zeitung called her “a virtuosa with a wild heart and a gentle touch,” combining “spontaneous freshness and poetic expression.” An eclectic performer, Vanessa Perez can be seen in an episode of Amazon’s hit TV series Mozart in the Jungle, performing Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony for inmates at New York’s Rikers Island prison, alongside actor Gael García Bernal, and ondist Suzanne Farrin. She also played Chopin’s mazurkas with the Limón Dance Company in Manhattan’s Bryant Park and the Joyce Theatre in New York City. Perez has been featured performing on such popular radio stations as WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, Sirius XM, and WGBH Boston, as well as on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” American Public Media’s “Performance Today,” Minnesota Public Radio, and Texas Public Radio. Together with the “New Worlds Project” she was interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning by Jane Pauley, and performed for the Stephen Colbert show in New York in 2017.

Perez was raised to her pre-teen years in Venezuela, where she began her studies with Luminita Duca. At age 11, she was invited to Caracas,Venezuela, to make her concert debut performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica Municipal and conductor Carlos Riazuelo for a sold-out 2,500-seat auditorium. In the U.S., she studied with noted Claudio Arrau pupils Ena Bronstein and Rosalina Sackstein; at 17, she won a full scholarship to London’s Royal Academy of Music to study with Christopher Elton. She continued her studies with pianists Lazar Berman and Franco Scala in Italy at the renowned Accademia Pianistica Incontri Col Maestro in Imola; she then completed post-graduate studies with Peter Frankl at Yale University and pianist Daniel Epstein in New York City. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Venezuela, Perez currently resides in Manhattan with her husband and their children.

Vanessa Perez is a Steinway artist.


Other Media

Evening of music and cinema: Bill Murray "Festival de Cannes"

Bill Murray on his New Doc 'New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization'

Bill Murray talks singing in the shower "Performance today"

Flaunt Cover Story "Performance today"

NPR June, 2012 with Fred Child feature on "Performance today"

NPR May 2012 with Guy Raz featured on "All Things Considered"


About Steinway & Sons label

An imprint of Steinway & Sons, the Steinway & Sons music label was introduced to bring the music of some of the world's most talented emerging and established pianists to new audiences. Since its founding in 2010, music produced by the Steinway & Sons music label has consistently garnered widespread critical acclaim. Recordings on the Steinway & Sons record label can be purchased through as well as Amazon, iTunes and other fine retailers around the globe.

Chopin - The complete Preludes

New Worlds

New Worlds

Vanessa Perez is the pianist for the project "New Worlds", an ensemble with Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Mira Wang.

Press and Quotes

Selected Press as Soloist and Collaborator

Rolling Stone, 2022
'Something From a Different Planet’: Bill Murray Talks New Concert Doc'

New York Post, page six, February 2022
Bill Murray gives surprise musical performance in NYC park'

Palm Beach Daily News, 2021
'Bill Murray and Classical Music trio tell story of Americas'

San Francisco Chronicle, 2019
Collaboration with Violinist Daniel Hope
'Schulhoff’s brilliant Sardonic Concerto Crowns New Century program'

Chicago Tribune, 2017
'Bill Murray at Orchestra Hall is a show no one else could have done'

Fanfare Magazine, 2016.

This album is titled Spain—a rather broad description, considering only one of the two composers here is Spanish. The program intersperses Debussy’s three Iberian-flavored piano pieces with music by Manuel de Falla, primarily transcriptions of his most popular orchestral music.

The main thing to note is that the piano is stunningly played and extremely well recorded. Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez uses rubato frequently but subtly to emphasize the contours of the music, in both the lyrical and dance-like sections. (On this showing, she would shine in the music of Granados.) The only time her rhythmic freedom does not work for me is in the Pantomime from El amor brujo: Falla’s languorous melody is in 7/4, but like many pianists (and conductors too) Perez contrives to make it sound like a triplet followed by a duplet in 4. Overall, there is not a perfunctory moment in these performances. Perez is skilled at setting an atmosphere, whether it is the flammenco panache of the opening of El amor brujo––almost an announcement of intent––or the nocturnal atmosphere of Debussy’s “La soirée dans Granade.” Her weighting of chords is finely considered, while the sensitivity of her phrasing is highlighted by a full, warm piano sound. In Falla’s major work for the piano, the Fantasía Bética, she cedes to the harder-edged virtuosity of Alicia de Larrocha, but provides a thoughtful alternative even so.

The notes are only adequate. Most of this program consists of transcriptions, but no arranger is acknowledged. Minimal research reveals that Falla made his own transcriptions of the ballet pieces, and also of his late Homage to Debussy, originally written for guitar. Debussy’s Lindaraja was the French composer’s first work for two pianos. Initially I thought Perez might be playing a transcription for piano solo––one exists from 1926 by Jean Roger-Ducasse––but I decided she must have been double-tracking the two-piano version. Then, in the smallest font anywhere on the CD cover, I discovered a reference to a second pianist: Stephen Buck. He also adds to the excitement in the Second Dance from La Vida Breve. Buck gets no other mention, so allow me to tell you that he serves on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase, has a Doctorate from Yale, and studied with Peter Frankl.

To sum up: This is an enjoyable program, the music-making is vital, and Perez is clearly a musician of distinction. I look forward to hearing more from her. Phillip Scott

International Piano, July/August 2016.

Spain review:

The Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez could hardly have given us a more vivacious view of Spain: castanets click, guitars strum and bodies whirl in the true spirit of Andalusian flamenco. Her Interaction between Debussy (with is lifelong fascination with a once exotic neighbour) and Falla (his music as "Abrubt as when there's slid/Its stiff gold blazing pall/From some black coffin-lid") is subtle and telling. Whether in the swaying seduction of Pantomima or in the bitter and acerbic utterance of Fantasis betica, Perez has no need of the American pianist Anthony di Bonaventura's advice concerning the lack of rhytmic focus in a student's playing ("imagine your bod without a skeleton, it would jus be a great lump"). She is joined by pianist Stephen Beck in two items, making this a scintillating and enterprising disc, finely recorded.

Washington Post, May 2012.

Pianist Vanessa Perez performs Chopin with passion, sensuality

Perez dove into the Preludes as if discovering them for the first time, flinging them out into the hall with a kind of wild intensity that was often breathtaking, as if she were forcing these delicate hothouse flowers into the fresh air for the first time.... Washington Post, May 2012

Complete Review

American Record Guide, July/August 2012.

This is exceptional Chopin Playing...Prelude ( Op 45) sings with dark Passion . One of the most compelling performances since Michelangeli's ..... ( Perez) has a natural feeling for rhythm, she rarely pauses to make a point, but when she does she never sounds mannered. There is a keen sense of cumulative buildup and an awareness of the works overall architecture.....This is emotionally bold yet finely nuanced playing, the combination you need in this repertory. Personal as these readings are, they don't seem self indulgent, rather, they make you aware of the originality of Chopin's Music.

After listening to this you know exactly what Liszt meant when he said that the Chopin Preludes " modestly named, are nonetheless types of perfection in a mode he himself created, and stamped, as he did with his deep impress of this poetic genius"

Complete Review

Atlanta Audio Society, June 2012.

Her approach to the Preludes is to invest each and every one with an immediate presence combined with the most crystalline clarity, as if this were to be her final word on the subject. That contrasts to the initial confusion many of Chopin’s contemporaries experienced when he published the Preludes in 1839. Robert Schumann’s reaction was typical: ...."They are sketches, beginnings of etudes … ruins, individual eagle pinions, all disorder and wild confusion." That bewilderment is excusable in an age when the synthesis of all the arts had progressed so far that listeners would have expected Chopin’s Op. 28 to be a set of "characteristic" pieces, each with its own implied watercolor sketch or "programme.".........

The diversity of the Preludes is remarkable. For instance, Prelude No. 13 in F-sharp may be in a major key, but it has a pronounced minor-key mood, with a connotation of sorrow or loss. Perez does some of her best work when capturing the essence of each piece in terms of its tonal center. No. 15, the "Raindrop," one of the best known of the Preludes, is also one of the most satisfying in terms of a beginning, middle, and end. Perez does a great job of defining its violent contrasts (portentous, stormy and dramatic in the outer sections, enchantingly beautiful and tender as a lovers’ tryst, in the middle) and its abrupt key changes. No. 24, with its formidable technical demands including a pervasive thundering five-note pattern in the left hand as the right plays trills, arpeggios, and rapidly descending chromatic scales, closing with three booming single notes in the lowest D on the piano is clearly one of her favorites, and she throws herself into it with abandon.........

All Music Guide, May 2012.

"As we listen to Chopin's music, we are convinced that we hear a powerful narrative drama," read the CD booklet notes for this release of Chopin's preludes by Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez. Perez did not write the booklet notes, but they seem to reflect her approach to the preludes, for which "narrative" is not normally the first word that would come to mind.....Perez is not a product of Venezuela's famed Sistema music education system, but her fiery, fearless preludes she matches the fresh, charismatic readings that have been coming from other Venezuelan musicians. The album is unorthodox at both the micro and macro levels. Consider the opening shot, the Prelude in C major, Op. 28, No. 1, where the usually dreamy, lyrical melody with which the piece trails off turns into a sort of ominous mutter. Perez takes it from there with intense contrasts, unusual although not unheard-of tempo extremes, and in general rethinkings of almost all of the famous preludes. This is welcome in the case of chestnuts like the Prelude in C minor, Op. 28, No. 20, where Perez plays down the funeral-march aspect with a slow tempo that turns the piece into a much more personal piece of tragedy. She leaves little space between the individual preludes, and the overall effect is indeed to produce one large narrative....Chopin collectors will want it on their shelves and hard drives. Telarc's sound, which picks up what seem to be foot taps from Perez, is as intense and almost confrontational as her playing.

El Comercio (Lima, Peru).

Vanessa Perez counts on having a prodigious technique, but many pianists of her generation and hereafter that achieve an extremely high technical level, do not have the capacity to communicate and move that this outstanding pianist possesses. If one would summarize in two words the interpretative qualities of this remarkable pianist I think it would be sensitivity and temperament ....

EL NUEVO DIA (Puerto Rico).

Concert No. 3 for piano and orchestra, Sergei Prokofiev's Op. 26 is of extreme virtuosity for the soloist as well as for the orchestra... and so was demonstrated by pianist Vanessa Perez with an impressive technique serving an interpretation distinguished by its clear and direct phrasing, very appropriate to the modernist attitude of the Russian composer...the pianist, whom the audience wouldn't let abandon the stage without the prior performance of an encore of a charming and dazzling Venezuelan joropo

La Nacion ( Argentina).

....showed clear evidence of an exquisite artist, who gives her knowledge with devotion and unlimited generosity, in the manner of the most eminent artists in the history of the keyboard.

Ruhr Nachrichten : Dortmunder Zeitung.


Matinee with Vanessa Perez and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra Dortmund’s Concert House ...The Lucerne Orchestra always makes an effort to highlight the details of a work. In Mozart's Piano Concerto in D-minor KV466 they were much more than a careful accompanying body for the soloist Vanessa Perez. Axelrod made audible how the solo voice and the orchestral sound blend and penetrate each other. An ideal partner was the recipient of a stipend of the Mozart Society, because she combined in her playing a lot of spontaneous freshness and gentle poetic expression. A virtuosa with a wild heart and a gentle touch of her hand is Vanessa Perez. She deeply felt the dramatic Don Giovanni World of the beginning; then she conveyed great calm to the Romanze, with little of the sentimental coating, which many other pianists pour over this movement, which belongs to the most beautiful slow movements which Mozart wrote...

Connecticut Post.

....the concerto opened quietly, but merely for a few measures before the orchestra turned into a stately, grand theme and transported us in imagination to a regal court for an important function. In another moment we knew what it was when soloist Vanessa Perez began to play with astonishing clarity and finesse. Not only was her every turn crystalline and pristine, but at the same time she had one passage after another overflowing with emotion. This was lush Beethoven...

American Record Guide.

Venezuelan American Pianist is spirited, Hot Blooded pianist, with considerable talent .She has an intuitive musical intelligence that hold’s one interest. Her wide-ranging expression can go inward, and she can unleash a torrent of Passion..

Miami Herald.

Vanessa Perez was the evening's soloist in the Russian composer's not unfamiliar Piano Concerto No. 2.... brought enviable youthful fire to Rachmaninoff's keyboard warhorse.. the Adagio had a wonderful rapt lyricism, Perez floating the main theme with poetic elegance enhanced by the dark, burnished MSO strings. Marturet and the orchestra provided well-upholstered accompaniment for Perez's high-adrenaline solo work, and the sumptuous climax of the finale made a grand and thrilling impact.

International Piano Magazine.

Perez can hold her head up high in the most distinguished company in this repertoire.( Ref Chopin Ballades) If anything her Albeniz is even more impressive- impassioned, rich toned and seductively coquettish where appropriate....Perez is on top form and the recording is superb..

Washington Post, USA.

Venezuelan American pianist Vanessa Perez is not to be taken lightly. She stormed through some beautiful works, most of them nearly unpla yable, at the Venezuelan Embassy on Thursday, her fiery impetuosity proving her technical prowess in works by Villa-Lobos, Albéniz, Ravel and Rachmaninoff....Even Mozart's Sonata in F, K. 332, had muscular energy as she raced through the Allegros. The Adagio was pure grace...

La Provincia, Como, Italy.

"Enchanting and supercharged, the words to describe the Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez."

Bonner Rundschau, Bonn, Germany.

"It is no wonder that Claudio Arrau was so moved by the technique, musicality and intelligent style of Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez; who played at the Kammermusiksaal of the Beethoven's House in the International summer festival "Bonner Sommer" in Bonn. She has incredible virtuosity that you could hear in the Beethoven Sonata op.31 in D minor and the Schumann Symphonic Etudes. Beethoven was interpreted with great musicality, and she does not let the "Tempest" pass you by. Very few times do you hear such a perfect and virtuoso Allegro..."

El Norte, Monterrey, Mexico.

"Breathtaking! Her interpretation of Mozart's piano concerto K466 in D minor was impeccable; her version of it was passionate and diaphanous. I have to emphasize the complexity of the cadenza in the first movement of the concerto that took me by surprise, due to her creativity. From the point of view of her expressiveness, I have to thank this pianist's way of playing which moved me in every moment."

Fresno, California, USA.

"...the two works by Franz Liszt that ended the evening were unquestionably brilliant. The Mephisto Waltz No.1, which is a veritable encyclopedia of Liszt' s technical innovations, was breathtaking in her hands. The standing Ovation the audience enthusiastically gave her was well deserved"

El Mundo, Caracas, Venezuela.

"The Chopin Piano Concerto in e minor with Vanessa Perez at the piano, was interpreted with great finesse, brilliant sounds, she was able to achieve the continuous flowing movement and clarity so characteristic of this music."

Messagero Veneto, Gorizia, Italy.

"...warm applause at the Bratuz for the Venezuelan Pianist. Vanessa Perez has proved to be an accomplished artists in her interpretations of the works performed tonight. The Beethoven Sonata ( in e flat major) was majestic, followed by Schumann Symphonic Etudes which besides the great virtuosity which this great work demands, one could follow the complex melodic plot, full of light and shadow, which mirrored the tormented soul of this German composer. The Chopin Fantasie op.49 performed with a diamond touch, never lacked full expression and feeling."

El Nuevo Herald, Miami, Florida, USA.

"...she is an intense pianist, who becomes one with her instrument, physically and spiritually, reaching that strange fusion where composer and interpreter identify. In her recital, she displayed enviable charisma and great virtuosity."

Tamàs Vàsàry.

I was very impressed by her genuine talent, musicality, technical ability, but most of all by her sensitivity and temperament, qualities rarely present so together. She should go very far.

Lazar Berman.

A pianist gifted with great talent, technical mastery, and remarkable performance personality.

Zubin Mehta.

Her level of musical perception and artistic awareness impressed me as much as her total command of the keyboard.

Peter Frankl.

Vanessa possesses a rare gift: irresistible charisma. Her playing is warm, passionate, colorful, combined with superb technique.

Claudio Arrau.

A pianist whose technique, musicality, and intelligent approach to the music she plays made a profound impression on me. It is not possible to find a young artist today better equipped with all of the necessary qualities that my school of pianists requires from a performer.

Contact Vanessa


For United States
Julia Torgovitskaya: Cadenza Artists (
Phone: (310) 896-8527

Special projects/Media

Jorge Perez (
Phone: (323) 839-5694


For Asia
Lisa Lim: Managing Director - Miura Management Ltd
Phone: (Spain) +34 (608) 212-794
Phone: (Norway) +47 (400) 7-1281

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