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Josu Gallastegui

Josu Gallastegui is widely viewed as one of the country's leading ballet pianists, known for the excitement, imagination, and impeccable musical judgment he brings to class. Born in Bilbao, in the Basque Region of Spain, Gallastegui has won the acclaim of teachers and performers throughout the dance world. "Josu Gallastegui is a wonderful pianist," says Cynthia Gregory -- "I think he is the best around." Allegra Kent considers herself "lucky to be in class when Gallastegui is the pianist." The late Woytek Lowski, ballet master for the London Festival Ballet, said that "having Gallastegui play for class is a unique and joyful experience."

Since coming to the United States in 1980, Gallastegui has worked with major dance companies and schools including: American Ballet Theater, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Dance Theater of Harlem, and School of American Ballet, and with outstanding performers and choreographers including: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alexandra Danilova, Sylvie Guillem, Rudolf Nureyev, David Parsons, Anna Sokolow, Ross Stretton and Twyla Tharp.

In addition to his work as a ballet pianist, Gallastegui performs frequently as a soloist and accompanist. Reviewers have called him "an excellent musician -- technically superior, sensitive, and expressive," and praised the "great precision, sensitivity, and transparent quality" of his style. He has performed at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, CAMI Hall, and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and toured extensively in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union. Composer Aram Khachaturian, attending one of Gallastegui's Moscow performances, praised him as a "very sensitive pianist and extraordinary accompanist."

"His choice of repertoire and sensitivity to musical phrasing have made him my favorite ballet accompanist."
- Gelsey Kirkland