She was born December 1938 in Montevideo, Uruguay, and began musical studies with her mother, the pianist and pedagogue Renée Bonnet. She attended courses dictated by the pianists Jörg Demus and J. Turchinsky, the organist A.Turriziani and the composer Héctor Tosar, simultaneously developing skills as both a composer and a performer.
and founded the Chorale de l'Alliance Française and the Montevideo Ars musicæ Chamber Orchestra which tours in Uruguay and the whole Latin America and organized the 1st Montevideo Chamber Music Festival in Open Air.
IN 1973-4, she held French government grants, and performed electroacoustic researched at the GRM of Paris under the direction of Pierre Schæffer, and studied direction of orchestra with J. Mercier.
In 1975, 1976 and 1977, she directed the first Atelier musical d’initiation à la musique électroacoustique of the Centre Culturel Censier of the University of Paris and the Ensemble instrumental des Boursiers Etrangers"" of the French Government. She performed at the Musée d’Art Moderne of Paris and participated in numerous broadcasts from France Culture at Paris.
In 1976, the Eva Houdova's film Renée Pietrafesa, composer and performer was given an award at the Festival de Besançon.
In 1984, she was named « Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres » and received at Montevideo the “Florencio” award from the Uruguayan Theatre Critic for the music to Sophocles' Electra .
In 1990, she was invited by the French Government as a composer and a teacher.
Since 1991, she has collaborated as a composer and a pedagogue in the France-Uruguay exchanges In that area, she has given several Master-Classes in French academies of music such as the CNR of Strasbourg, which invited her to teach and direct her works. She was invited too by the Deutscher Musikrat (German Music Council, a member of the International Music Council), in Italy, in Spain as well as in Brasil and in Argentina.
She gave in 1997 an exceptional concert Por la vida at the Teatro Solís of Montevideo, with the collaboration of UNICEF of Uruguay and the participation of an orchestra of 100 musicians, 5 choruses of adults and the chorus of children Coro de niños del Iname, as well as groups of popular music such as G. Goularte which, in an interdependent way, appeared to collect funds for the children of the street in Uruguay.
In 1999, during annual rounds in Europe, she performed with Luis Battle, in París and Rome, playing works of the universal repertory and of her own vintage. She also directed Master Classes in various academies of France by carrying out concerts of works of latino-american masterpieces interpreted by European orchestras. The same year, she gave the premiere in Montevideo of her work "Desde la Cruz del Sur" for orchestra directing the OSSODRE orchestra.
Continuing her mission of ambassadress of the music of Uruguay, she also took part in the year 2000 in the Festival Paris-Banlieues-Tango, as the leading pianist of Uruguay of classical music, also performing the popular music of Uruguay and Latin America (on the barge Péniche Daphné during the week "Uruguay-sur-Seine", she inaugurated a tango, a milonga and a candombe of its composition as well as tangos milongas and candombes of Uruguay, with a sharp success, the participation of Comparsa Scumba Franco-uruguaya. The same year, she premiered in the Maison de l'Amérique Latine of París works or her own as well as of other traditional and contemporary composers of Uruguay. Her video "Monte Vidéo " was selected with the Festival international de la ville de fr:Manosque (France) during which she presented and directed also a broadcast concert of the contemporary music of Uruguay of all kinds.
In 2001, she performed 7 concerts for Juventudes Musicales de Uruguay with the participation of 600 children each Sunday, thus succeeding by didactic and broadcast works, unique in our country by its artistic and human quality, to contribute to help always more the young interpreters and composers of the country and abroad, in addition to her work for 15 years with Channel 5 (now TVEO of our country), and to her School of music Escuela de Música en la Quinta del Arte, and of her teaching at the Escuela Universitaria de Música. This year also, she creates the Orquesta de Cámara de jóvenes de Ars Musicæ as a "child" of her group Ars Musicæ founded in 1964, and gives with him 13 concerts this same year in concert halls of Montevideo and province at ends of benevolence and with groups of theatre and video in the search for an integration to other artistic forms. She also inaugurates in first world her works "Con los niños" (Musical Youths - Orchestra Ars Musicæ of Montevideo, under her direction), "Proyección 2001" for 2 percussionnists and orchestra, facing the Orchestra OSSODRE of Montevideo with a sharp success and "Señales y elaboraciones" for piano as pianist, in a concert of national composers of the group Núcleo Música Nueva. She was in this year the 2001, the national composer which composed the most musics for works of theatre in Uruguay: "Top Dogs" (national Comedy - Dir. Ruegger), "El hermano olvidado" (El Galpón - Dir. Nelly Goitiño), "Tres Mujeres altas" (national Comedy - Dir. Nelly Goitiño), "El sueño y la Vigilia" (El Galpón - Dir. Nelly Goitiño), "En la casa de campo" (Dir. Nelly Goitiño) by prizes winner of the EMAD with which she worked as "audio space" professor. From November 24, 2001, there were simultaneously at least 4 works with musics of her composition on the scenes of Montevideo.
She also presented in 2001 her new CD Mutabile published by Ayuí / Tacuabé and Fonam of Montevideo with her works for piano, her compositions of Chambe and Symphonicr Music interpreted by prestigious musicians of Uruguay and foreigners. She is named in Uruguay "Woman of the year 2001" in the category of the Best Musical Show and obtains the Price Florencio 2001 of Montevideo for the music of work "El Hermano Olvidado" of Ariel Mastandrea, directed by prestigious Director Nelly Goitiño from Uruguay.
In 2002, she was invited in France to carry out concerts and recordings of her works for piano within the 15th Video Moments of Manosque and to also give in Paris concerts of piano of Latino-American composers. She carried out a round in concerts as pianist and as head of the orchestra "Ars Musicæ", within Uruguay and directed on two occasions the Orchestra of SODRE of Montevideo in works of Bach, Mozart and Schubert and her own composition "Desde la Cruz del Sur" in its version 2002, and premiered at the time of various concerts in Montevideo "Para piano y encordado 2002", "Para piano preparado y amplificado 2002", "Evocación para piano y orquesta de Cámara" and"Canción a Federico 2002".
For her development, she received the "Morosoli 2005" award " of the Fundación Lolita Rubial (November 2005).
She is a member of the S.U.M.C. and the N.M.N. of Montevideo and is regularly invited to direct the Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo and the Orquesta Sinfónica del SODRE de Montevideo.
She is currently director of the Music School « Quinta del Arte » at Montevideo et directs musical TV show (“Taller de Música” on Canal 5). She teaches Musical Pedagogy in the Escuela Universitaria de Música de Montevideo and directs the Grupo Barroco de Montevideo which she founded.
She has recorded long plays and cassettes from Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Froberger as well as CDs of her authorship among them Mutabile (Ayuí / Tacuabé), Acoustic, Mixed and Electroacoustic Music (Sondor) and Works for piano, Instrumental Chamber and Symphonic Music and Vocal, Mixed and Electroacoustic Chamber Music for Drama directed by the composer herself, facing the Orchestra of the CNR of Strasbourg, the Ossodre and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Montevideo (AGADU).
On october 24, 2016, Renée Pietrafesa was designated illustrious citizen of Montevideo (Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo).Discography