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Gabriela Calderón Cornejo and Astrid Morales Torres, Piano Duet
March 12, 2024
Gabriela Calderón Cornejo and Astrid Morales Torres, Piano Duet

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Costa Rican pianist Dr. Gabriela Calderón Cornejo is a passionate player who has explored diverse musical styles, which have provided her with a unique voice full of creative approaches. Gabriela has acquired wide-ranging experience as a solo performer, chamber musician, collaborative pianist, adjudicator, and teacher through her involvement in numerous projects in Costa Rica, the United States, and Europe.

Recently, her work in rediscovering, adapting and promoting previously undigitized works by Latin American female composers has been featured at international conferences, concert series, and radio, magazine, and podcast interviews, culminating in the release of her first studio album and anthology Musas.

Gabriela is an active member of the most prominent music organizations and contributes to the profession by teaching, performing, participating in conferences, and serving as a board member for the Cayambis Institute for Latin American Studies in Music (CILASiM) and the Branch Recital Director for the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) – San Mateo County. She is also an active adjudicator for the California Certificate of Merit and the United States Open Music Competition (USOMC). Gabriela is a faculty member at the Community School for Music and Arts (CSMA) and Cañada College.

On the undergraduate level, Gabriela completed a Bachelor of Music and a Licentiate of Music Degree in Piano Performance at the University of Costa Rica. She then completed a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance at Ithaca College and earned her Doctor of Arts Degree in Piano Performance at Ball State University, with a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Music. Currently, it is her ambition to continue a performing and teaching career accentuated by her minor as an entrepreneur.

Astrid Morales Torres Born in Mexico City, pianist Astrid Morales is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at Arizona State University with Robert Hamilton. Astrid holds master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy, and a Performer’s Diploma in Piano from Southern Methodist University, where she studied with Joaquín Achúcarro. In 2012, she graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City where she studied with Héctor Rojas.

Winner of the 2022 Puerto Rico Center for Collaborative Piano – Professional Division, Astrid has been awarded several prizes and scholarships including the Actos de Confianza Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures 2021, the 2014 General Concerto Competition at the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, TX, the 2011 Youth Mexican Prize, Grand Prix to Exceptional Talents and Best Interpretation of Mexican Music at the Second National Piano Competition “Petrof – Symphony – Pearl River”, among many others. In 2021, she was recognized as a Kawai Medallion Educator.

Astrid has had an intensive soloist career and has performed with well-known orchestras and conductors such as: Mexico State Symphony Orchestra (Enrique Bátiz, Virgilio Valle and Gabriela Díaz Alatriste), Querétaro Philharmonic (José Guadalupe Flores), Meadows Symphony Orchestra (Paul Phillips), Nuevo León University Symphony (Eduardo Diazmuñoz), Mexico City Philharmonic (José Areán), National Polytechnic Institute Symphony Orchestra (Alfredo Ibarra and Enrique Barrios), Aguascalientes Symphony (Stephano Mazzoleni), Women’s Orchestra of Arizona (Livia Gho), among many others. In addition, she has performed recitals in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, United States, Canada, Holland, Germany and Italy.

As an advocate of Latin American music and an active performer of Mexican music, she recorded her first CD “Rimero Musical” with the music of the Mexican composer Ladislao Juárez and collaborated in “El Oficio Mío” with Armando Rosas. As an active collaborative pianist, Morales was appointed as a faculty member at North Texas Low Brass Camp and was the pianist for the Portland Opera To Go 2022 program and tour. Morales has collaborated with world-renowned musicians including Andrés Díaz, Santiago Cañón, and Matt Albert. In 2018 and 2019, she also served as Fellow Pianist at the NorCal Music Festival. Moreover, she currently serves as the principal keyboardist at the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra.

Astrid Morales serves on the piano faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has also served as Faculty Associate at Arizona State University. Morales has appeared in several TV shows, newspapers, and radio interviews in Mexico, Italy, The Netherlands, and the United States. Astrid serves as an active member of the Binational Cultural Forum of Mexican Artists and is an active committee member at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. In addition, she is the 4th Vice President of the Arizona State Music Teachers Association.