Brazilian born pianist Vanessa Cunha has been acclaimed for her “sparkling electricity” and “musical will of iron”. Her awards include numerous competitions in South America, United States and Europe. As a winner of the Artists International Auditions in New York, she played a critically acclaimed debut recital at the Weill Hall in Carnegie Recital Hall. Ms Cunha has toured extensively in South America, United States, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, England and Portugal.
Vanessa Cunha holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the City University of New York and has studied with Martin Canin and Matti Raekallio. Among the musicians who have strongly contributed to her musical growth are Glacy Antunes, Neusa França, Luis Carlos de Moura Castro, Alicia Delarrocha, Adraas Schiff, David Dubal, Peter Eicher and Byron Janis.
Actively involved with current music, Dr. Cunha has performed works by composers such as Marlos Nobre, Ronaldo Miranda, Edino Krieger, Jouko Tötterström, Cecilia Damström among others. She is a graduate of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro where she studied with Myrian Dauelsberg and received a Master’s Degree. As the recipient of a full scholarship from CAPES she graduated from the Manhattan School of Music doing the Professional Studies in Piano Performance degree under the guidance of Nina Svetlanova.
She has made a number of appearances with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Blumenau Chamber Orchestra, Paraná Symphony Orchestra, State of São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of UFRJ, Symphony Orchestra of Brasília, Minas Gerais Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra do Norte in Portugal and Oulu Symphony Orchestra in Finland collaborating with conductors Norton Morozowics, Eleazar de Carvalho, Elena Herrera, Roberto Tibiriça, Fabio Mechetti, José Ferreira Lobo and Tibor Boganey. She has also appeared as a featured artist on radio and television stations including Houston's Kuhf.fm, Brasília.fm Super Radio, TV Cultura, TV Anhanguera and Manchete Television Network.
Vanessa Cunha has given masterclasses at Universities, Colleges, and Music Festivals, and has adjudicated Music Competitions in the U.S., Brazil and Europe. She has been invited to perform as well as to teach Master Classes at the Oklahoma City University, Aaron Copland School of Music, Londrina Winter Music Festival, Ouro Branco Music Festival, Nova Friburgo and Petrópolis Festivals, Oulu Music Festival, Joroinen Festival, Sonkajärvi Festival and Kemi Music Festival.
Dr. Cunha specializes in music from Latin America and Spain and presently she is recording works featuring a few jewels from the Brazilian Music Repertoire.
"The Brazilian pianist presented a program including works by Villa-Lobos, Albeniz and Brahms. The beautiful selection displayed the complexity of execution, which gave the pianist the opportunity to show all her virtuosity accomplishing great success."
Cultural Press, Barcelona, Spain
"Cunha was easily Monday's standout. Vibrant and dynamic, she poured emotion into her performance without sacrificing any of the technical prowess the works required."
Houston Press, Houston USA
"Vanessa Cunha offered a moving account of Brahms' Op. 119; she produced a rich texture with beautiful phrases and great sound control. The Villa-Lobos were shining miniatures delivered with rhythmic sharpness and very clear individual characters"
Portal Fator, Brazil
"The heroine of the night was Vanessa Cunha, who took care of the piano parts of the program. She played everything from the arrangements of the orchestral score in Mozart arias, cabaret songs by Britten, Donizetti arias to Kreisler violin gems with conviction and elegance."
Kaleva News, Finland
"Pianist Vanessa Cunha, violist Teemu Kupiainen and cellist Tuomas Ylinen interpreted the dimensions, fierce melody lines and capricious mood changes of the work (Marchenerzahlungen by Schumann) with merit.
The rendition of Kurtag’s”Hommage a Schumann” by Cunha, Ylinen and clarinetist Tuulia Ylonen was intensive and internalized. Cunha’s pithy pianism played an important role in the success.
The romantic conclusion of the program, the clarinet trio by Brahms, was performed with richness, liveliness and inspiration and left nothing to desire."
Oulu Music Festival Reviews, Finland
"In the third piano concerto by Prokofieff, the conductor Tibor Boganyi and the soloist Vanessa Cunha created sparkling electricity. As a composition the concerto is so unaffected, inspired and many-sided that it will guarantee high voltage in any performer. Vanessa Cunha has a polished technique and she created a lot of excitement that took your breath away. Ms. Cunha delved into the work briskly. The sap was flowing, as well as the spirit."
Kaleva News, Finland
"Brazilian pianist Vanessa Cunha took the stage on Sunday to perform a recital of Brazilian piano music. The concert introduced an artist, who has an unfailing technique and a musical will of iron.
The program consisted of miniatures and virtuoso music, and it is evident that Cunha has all the attributes to succeed also in the gigantic works of the mainstream repertoire."
Kaleva News, Finland