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Chilean-born pianist Pola Baytelman dives deep in the heart of music she performs. A Steinway Artist, her playing has been characterized as “formidable” and having a “diaphanous touch”. Known for her performances of music by Spanish and Latin American composers, Baytelman keeps the composer’s intent foremost with her effortless technique, and sparkling articulation reminiscent of the legendary Alicia de Larrocha.
Baytelman made her debut at the age of 17 with the Chilean Symphony Orchestra, and has since performed with numerous orchestras internationally. An active recitalist with a broad repertoire that encompasses the 18th to the 21st centuries, Baytelman also keeps the works of women composers in her scope: from Clara Schumann and Amy Beach — to contemporary composers like Katherine Hoover and Hilary Tann, who has composed for Baytelman specifically. Baytelman has toured extensively in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, with performances broadcast on radio and television. Also a highly respected educator, Baytelman has taught master classes in mainland China, England, Hong Kong, India, and throughout the US, and is a sought-after judge for international competitions, as well as a presenter-recitalist for conferences abroad.
Having graduated from the University of Chile’s National Conservatory, as well as the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Baytelman has earned both a Master’s Degree and an Artist Diploma. While at NEC, under a Fulbright Grant, she studied with renowned pianist Russell Sherman. Following this, Baytelman earned a Doctorate in Piano Performance from the University of Texas, where Nancy Garrett was her teacher. Baytelman has since gone on to work with other noted pianists, including Claude Frank and Menahem Pressler, and is a Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Emerita at Skidmore College, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where she was chosen to present the Moseley Lecture-Recital, the highest honor Skidmore faculty confers on a colleague.
Baytelman has performed Albéniz’s monumental Iberiain tours of major US cities, and her 1998 groundbreaking CD of Albéniz’s work was reissued in June 2020 (Élan). She is also the author of a book on the Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz’s piano music published by Harmonie Park Press in Michigan. In addition, Baytelman teamed up with famed Albéniz scholar Walter Clark and was the pianist of a video documentary on the Spanish composer released in August 2019 (Albany Records). Moreover, Baytelman has released three additional recordings: From Chile to Cuba and Celebration of the New (both Albany Records); and a recording of Robert Schumann’s works including the Humoreske(Centaur), which was listed by American Record Guide as one of the top performances of the classic work.