Born in Buenos Aires in 1964, Gerardo Vila began his studies at a young age at the National Music Conservatory “Carlos López Buchardo”. He was already noticed for his special talent and artistic qualities. He graduated 1984 with the diplom “Profesor Nacional Superior de Piano” with special distinction.
He studied piano with Maria Teresa Criscuolo and chamber music with Ljerko Spiller. At the age of twelve he gave his first public recital and thus developed very early an intense musical activity. During this period he was member of the “Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional”. Vila played in important halls as the “Teatro Colón” and that of the “Teatro Opera”, where he gave a concert organized by the Argentinean Mozarteum.
Between 1980 and 1984 he received six first prizes in piano competitions; among these prizes the “Vicente Scaramuzza”. This permitted him to travel to Europe in 1985 in order to pursue his career. He was selected by the prestigious pianist Maria Tipo in order to complete his training with her at the Superior Music Conservatory of Geneva. He received 1987 the highest qualification: the first prize in virtuosity with a Special Distinction and in addition the prize Henry Broillet. From 1988 to 1990, he attended Karl Engel’s master-class at the Conservatory in Bern.
He also followed many superior courses in which he received special distinctions (“Diploma di Merito” of the Musical Academy of Chigiana in Siena/Italy and the “Premio al mejor intérprete” in Gerona/Spain), with great masters such as Maurizio Pollini, Vlado Perlemuter, Gyorgy Sandor, Tatiana Nicolajewa and Luis de Moura Castro. The latter stated upon hearing him play Liszt’s Sonata in b minor: “…it was the best performance from a young pianist that I have ever heard in my entire life.”.
During this period he developed an intense concert activity, which has been constantly increasing, with concerts in all of Europe, United States and Latin America.
Gerardo Vila has won many awards in International Piano Competitions, including:
-First Prize “Ciutat de Manresa”, Spain 1987.
-Second Prize “Alessandro Casagrande”, Terni, Italy 1988.
-Second Prize at the “1989 World Piano Competition” in Cincinnati, USA.
-Finalist at the “Concorso Internazionale Ferrucio Busoni” , Bolzano, Italy 1991.
In 1989, he received the first prize at the “Maria Canals” competition in Barcelona, Spain, where he then interpreted the Brahms second concerto at the “Palau de la Música”.
In 1997 he received the First Prize as Best Interpreter at the Silvestri Festival in “Tirgu Mures”, Rumania.
He performed as soloist with prestigious orchestras such as the “Orchestre de la Suisse Romande”, Orchestra of Perugia, the AMSA World Symphony in Cincinnati, the “Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona”, the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the “Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne” and the Bern Symphonic Orchestra.
He was conducted by Arpad Gerecz, Jun Märkl, Albert Rosen, Frank Cramer, Dennis Burkh, Jörg Peter Weigle, Miguel Gómez Martínez, Christian Arming, Laurent Gendre, Carlos Kalmar and Michel Tabachnik…
Together with the the “Berner Symphonieorchester”, in 1991, he premiered in Bern the “Reveil des Oiseaux” by Olivier Messiaen. The newspaper “Berner Zeitung” wrote: “…once more this artist has shown his high sensitivity, his superior technique and his wide vision.”.
In addition to this he has participated in many important Festivals, as those in Lucerne, Gstaad, Cannes, Lisbon, Maracaibo and Bratislava. In this last city he performed in 1992 Beethoven’s third concerto, with great success. Critics stated this time: “Gerardo Vila was the peak moment, among all the pianists during this Festival…”.
During the Festival in Interlaken in 1993, he performed Chopin’s first Concerto accompanied by the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Jörg Peter Weigle. Once again he was praised by the critics in the newspaper “Der Bund”: “We were faced, for this performance of Chopin’s Concerto in E minor, with a pianist who managed once again to surprise us, thanks to his extreme pianistic qualities – his wide culture, his incredibly developed sense of musicality and his emotional expression.”.
Vila had the privilege to have been invited by the prestigious pianist Karl Engel, to perform with him (as a soloist and for four hand pieces). He has also participated in many tours and concerts of the “Camerata Lysy”, having the honor to play with Sir.Yehudi Menuhin.
As a chamber music player, he appeared with prestigious artists such as Alberto Lysy, Radu Aldulescu, Daniel Zisman, Marcio Carneiro, Gyula Stuller, Ana Chumachenco, Thomas Friedli, Patrick Demenga, Karl Engel, Davide Bandieri. He has travelled throughout various countries disseminating Argentinean music, whilst performing next to the singer Milva, the bandoneonist Daniel Binelli and the group “Tango 7” of which Vila was one of the founding members. In the year 2000, he was distinguished as “Invited Member” to the Argentinean Music Council and UNESCO in recognition of his artistic work. In 1999 he performed Beethoven’s fourth Concerto together with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Christian Arming on live broadcast for the “Radio Suisse Romande”.
In the year 2003 he performed the Swiss premiere of the 2nd Concerto for piano and orchestra by the Russian composer, Nikolai Medtner together with the Bern Symphonic Orchestra and conducted by Carlos Kalmar. The critics wrote: “…the Argentinean pianist, residing in Bern, excelled through a superior interpretation of a complex piece… Vila received this evening the ovation deserved for a great star…”.
In addition to his international concert activity, Vila also trains young musicians and is regularly invited to give master class for piano and chamber music classes in various European and Latin American countries.
-Academie and Festival in Sighisoara, Rumania between 1997 and 2003.
-Academia y Festival del Nuevo Mundo en Maracaibo, Venezuela between 2001 and 2009.
-Académie Musicale de Morges, Switzerland between 2007 and 2012.
Since 1991 he has been chamber music teacher at the “Conservatoire de Musique de Neuchâtel” , Switzerland. And since 2005 he is coordinator and chamber music professor at the “Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève – Neuchâtel”. In 2010 he was invited as member of the Piano Faculty of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas in El Llano, Colombia and 2011 as Mentor Artist for the You Tube Symphony Orchestra at the YTSO Sydney Summit Week in Sydney, Australy.
Gerardo Vila has made several radio recordings and records for the labels VDE-Gallo, Zytglogge and Vox, Naxos and Brillant Classics.