Joana Gonzalez is a hispanic pianist and academic. As all are, her story is unusual:
Just a few months after her first piano lesson, Joana Gonzalez made her concert debut in 2005 at the age of ten. What was, by all outward appearances, a decidedly unremarkable student recital was, for young Joana, the opening to a new horizon. On that night, she knew of her future as a pianist as unmistakably as she knew her own name. The resolve she made on that night to work tirelessly toward that future did not go in vain. This was made clear in 2013 when Joana was invited to perform at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall as a winner of the American Protege International Piano Competition and clearer still in 2014 when Joana was invited to perform as a soloist with the New World Symphony after winning first prize in their Concerto Competition. She has gone on to perform as a soloist with numerous orchestras across the United States--including the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra, the Alhambra Orchestra, and the Imperial Symphony Orchestra--and has been invited as a recitalist by series across United States, in Puerto Rico, and in Spain.
As an undergraduate student, Joana conducted a school-wide survey to better understand why her non-musical peers were absent from the concert halls. After finding that most were open to classical music but found the live concert experience a bit stultifying, Joana set out on the development of a 'new take' on traditional performance practice using principles of behavioral psychology. Her vision was realized a year and a half later with The Unconventional Recital: An Experimental Series which featured five performances at Colleges, Conservatories, and High Schools throughout South Florida. The results were overwhelming. About them, Joana said in a recent interview, "I had no idea what it would feel like, after the first Unconventional Recital, when that first girl told me that my performance had completely changed their mind about classical music."
In 2014, Joana was awarded a full scholarship to study at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music where she received a bachelor's degree in keyboard performance under the tutelage of Santiago Rodriguez. Later, in 2019, she was awarded the Viola B. Marcus Memorial Scholarship in Piano Performance by the Manhattan School of Music where she received a masters degree under the direction of Alexandre Moutouzkine. Joana remains fully indebted to these institutions, their faculty, and her fellow students for the incalculable role they have played in her musical and personal development.
A natural autodidact, Joana's academic studies have spanned multiple fields--from music history and aesthetics to behavioral psychology and website development. Her introduction as an academic in the musical world, however, came in in 2017 when she was invited as a guest lecturer at El Conservatorio de Puerto Rico. Employing her eclectic knowledge-base and natural proclivity towards research, Joana explored the topics of Maurice Ravel's personality and psychology and their reflections in his compositional style.
Since then, Joana has presented lecture-recitals at numerous schools, festivals, and concert series on a wide range of topics--from Crumb's Makrokosmos and extended techniques (presented for a virtual NYC-based academic club) to Alberto Ginastera's life told by his piano music and collected stories (presented at Festival Baltimore). Joana is currently developing a series of online courses for music lovers--a project inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant virtual lectures and performances--which she hopes to publish in 2022.