The Romanian pianist, Gabriela Imreh, began studying when she was five years old. Her parents were engineers with no formal training in music; nonetheless they surrounded her very early with books, music, and art. Her mother especially, who had a great passion for classical music and grand opera, stimulated Gabriela's interest and helped guide her work. At age 8, under the urging of her teachers who recognized her great talent, Gabriela's parents arranged to move their home and jobs to Cluj-Napoca, where she could continue in the Performing Arts School and later attend the "Gheorge Dima" Academy of Music. There she graduated summa cum laude as the top conservatory student in Romania. Her studies with Harald Wagner were augmented by work with Nina Panieva and seminars in Hungary with György Sebők and in East Germany with Peter Solymos and Rudolf Kehrer.
Following her professional debut at age 16, Gabriela Imreh was a frequent performer with state philharmonic orchestras throughout Romania and on national television and radio. Her engagement and subsequent secret marriage to American conductor Daniel Spalding in 1985 was eventually given state approval the following year under pressure from the American government. The couple was later allowed to travel to the USA and they currently reside in New Jersey with their dog, Daisy, who often accompanies them on their many tours.
Described by the London Sunday Express as "a fast rising Romanian born virtuoso," Gabriela Imreh has captivated audiences throughout North and South America, Europe and the Far East. She has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Russian Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tivoli Festival Orchestra (Copenhagen), Buenos Aires Philharmonic at Teatro Colon, and on a number of extensive tours with the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. In the USA she has performed in over 150 cities from coast-to-coast and appeared at New York's Lincoln Center and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall as well as a number of prestigious halls in Europe.
Gabriela Imreh's recordings have been warmly received by record critics: Clavier commented on the "restrained Romantic sensitivity that is refreshing to hear in Bach performance" and the American Record Guide noted that "Her fingers are capable of negotiating the composer's polyphony with the utmost clarity at often breakneck tempos. She offers a sinewy strength balanced by a feminine delicacy and lightness of touch that dazzle the senses." Her recording of the complete Soirées de Vienne by Franz Liszt was praised by former New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg, for her "delicious playing," and Fanfare described Gabriela as "a major talent," and the recording as "state of the art…a delightfully ear opening release."
In addition to her performing and recording activities Gabriela Imreh has served on the faculty at several universities, including a 2003 appointment as Guest Professor at the University of Connecticut. Her most recent collaboration is a special project with New York choreographer and film director Doug Varone, and she is appearing for a week of performances at the 2003 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.