GABRIELA Montero is a multi-talented pianist from South America.

In just a few weeks time the Venezuelan virtuoso takes to the stage of Kendal Leisure Centre's Westmorland Hall, joining the Scottish Ensemble in the sixth of the eight five star concerts in Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society's 2018/2019 series.

It will be Scottish Ensemble's first visit to Kendal, a string orchestra well-known for its high quality of performances and bold approach to programming. Led by artistic director Jonathan Morton, the first half of the performance will be full of classical poise and elegance, opening with Mozart's charming early Divertimento, followed by the Ricercar a 6 from Bach's Musical Offering.

The Musical Offering came about when Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, apparently presented Bach with a long theme and challenged him to write a fugue based on it. Bach went away and composed a whole series of contrapuntal pieces, which collectively make up the Musical Offering, and Ricercar - a six-part fugue on the theme - is one of the most striking of the pieces. Gabriela takes to the stage as soloist for Mozart's 14th Piano Concerto, a beautiful piece with an exuberant final movement.

A highly respected concert pianist, Gabriela has performed all over the world with many of the great orchestras. She is also very well known as an improvisor. However, Gabriela is also an ardent champion of human rights and in May 2015 was appointed as the first Honorary Consul of Amnesty International, in recognition of her sustained efforts to advocate for human rights in Venezuela. She returns to the stage in the second half of the Kendal concert introducing a new work she has composed for piano and string orchestra: Babel a colourful, inventive, personal and relatable portrait of her experience as a human rights activist for her politically-troubled home country.

The final work in the Saturday, February 16 (7.30pm) concert is Dmitri Shostakovich’s very personal Chamber Symphony op 118a, an arrangement of his 10th string quartet, written in 1964.

The Lakeland Sinfonia with violinist Lucy Gould are next in the society's season performing at the Westmorland Hall on Saturday, March 16 (7.30pm). For bookings telephone 0333-666-3366.