Marta Lledo was born in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, as were her parents . Marta’s father, Rafael Lledo was a national celebrity…a basketball star who represented Argentina in two Olympics and a man of Spanish descent. Marta’s mother, Teresa, was the driving force behind Marta’s dedication to piano and was of Italian heritage.
Marta was first introduced to music when, at 4 years of age, she received a toy piano as a gift from an uncle. Her interest in this new toy and the music it made became obvious. A few weeks later her uncle listening closely to what Marta was playing told Teresa that indeed, her daughter had an unusual gift. When Teresa turned her attention to Marta she discovered her daughter had the ability to immediately and accurately repeat the melodies of the songs she heard on the radio.
Prodded by the uncle and Teresa, Rafael moved to bring a real piano to the family home. A truck arrived at her home carrying several pianos and hoisted into the truck by her father she played and listened to each one. In just a few minutes she declared a Ronisch to be her choice. Her father soon found an instructor, Maria Del Carmen Ruiz de Sanchez, and Marta, at 5 years of age started in earnest her study on the instrument.
Marta gave her first public performance in 1970, at age 6 at The Williams Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires. By now, it was not only her family who viewed Marta as an extremely gifted child, but everyone who heard her play. In 1970 she performed live for the radio station in Santiago Del Estero, LV11. She continued to attend and perform at the Williams Conservatory for three years and received first place medals, the top honor for the best student from Williams in all three years.
In her last year at Williams, 1972, her mother was approached with a contractual offer for Marta to appear as a regular on a nationally televised program. The offer was soundly rebuffed but it brought to her mother’s attention the potential of her talent and underlined a need for continued and more serious studies. With the introduction of Franklin Ponce as her instructor and mentor a course was set.
Franklin Ponce began, not only to teach music and piano but to mold ideas and thinking. He quickly demanded more time dedicated to the study of the instrument and its music. Harmony classes with Polly Nasser were added to her schedule and her understanding of composers and artists began to grow. At this time in her young life she started listening to and being moved by the music of other great artists. Among Marta’s most early musical influences were Wilhelm Kempff, Wanda Landowska, Arthur Rubenstein, and the great Martha Argrich.
Marta’s rise as a concert pianist started with her debut in 1977 in her home city’s largest and most prestigious venue. Shortly after this concert she was awarded the “Martin Fierro” prize, an award given to the one designated that year as the most talented young adult or teenager in all Argentina! Within a year of that award, at 14 years of age she played for the first time with a full orchestra, Beethoven’s First Concerto for Piano and orchestra at the Theatro San Martin in Tucuman.
In 1980 Marta received her diploma from the Tucuman Conservatory, Professor of Piano and Theory. In 1981 she played the Chopin 1st concerto for piano and orchestra, this with the famous conductor Miguel Angel Gilardi. As Marta was nearing 20 years of age she found herself wanting more and more to see what was in the world waiting for her, Marta left Santiago del Estero bound for Buenos Aires. With her she brought only a few personal belongings and an anxiety that accompanies any great uncertainty. It was here in her life she decided to leave the things she knew…her family and her piano, and reevaluate her direction.
After a few years Marta slowly moved back toward high level public performance. In 1987 she gave her first concert in several years at the Promusica Amphitheater in Buenos Aires. Slowly she began returning to the stage. In 1992 she started taking instruction from Carmen Gomez Carrillo and Etelvina Chinicci, a student of Scaramuza. Later with Pia Sebastiani and soon after she studied the 24 Chopin Etudes with Elsa Puppulo. And later yet, she worked through several master classes with Rosalyn Tureck to refine her interpretation of several Bach pieces.
In the early part of the 1990’s she performed Mozart’s 20th Concerto for Piano and Orchestra at the San Martin Theater. In 1993 Marta performed the Grieg concert at the Belgrano Auditorium. Both are beautiful, large theaters in Buenos Aires. Soon she was performing often and in most of the large theaters in that great city.
Marta performed at the Circulo Military, The Rome Theater, The National Radio Concert Hall, The Italian Club and the Bolsa de Comercio to name but a few. In 1994 she won the Wagner Association award for the most talented young person in all of Argentina, quite a prestigious award. In the same year she received a special medal awarded her from Soviet Embassy for recognition of her extraordinary talent.
Next the Schumann Concerto at the Theatro Roma and in 1995 her performance of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto at the beautiful Colon Theater was universally accepted as a marvelous triumph. From then she continued to play the large theaters of Buenos Aires but also began to travel and perform outside of her native Argentina.
Marta’s career led her to perform in several Latin American countries. As political unrest in Argentina grew and was taking a toll on the careers of many musicians there, she became more and more hesitant to return. By the last part of the 1990’s she was traveling between Mexico and the United States performing where she could including Miami, New York and San Francisco.
More recently, Marta completed the CD,” Twelve Tangos" with works arranged specifically for her. A few months after the CD release she performed her tangos in Leipzig, Germany with over 5000 people in attendance. The event was recorded live and should be out on DVD soon!
Marta now lives in the San Francisco bay area, performing often along the U.S. west coast. Her latest project is a CD of Classical selections recorded in San Francisco that will be available soon. Make sure you sign up on our mailing list and you will be alerted to the both the DVD and CD's release!
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