The Week in Reviews, Op. 261: Jennifer Koh, Gil Shaham, Karen Gomyo
In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.
Violinist Jennifer Koh. Photo by Juergen Frank.
Jennifer Koh performed the Salonen Violin Concerto with the Houston Symphony (filling in for Leila Josefowicz).
- Houston Chronicle: "Jennifer Koh, a virtuoso in her own right...navigated Salonen’s complex composition with elegance and aplomb."
- Texas Classical Review: "Koh was fully up to the concerto’s fearsome demands, capturing its ferocity as well as its inwardness. She made the opening light and fleet, as it she were capturing the music on the wing. After the first orchestral salvo, when the solo part began working in broader strokes at times, she injected the music with boldness and fire."
Gil Shaham performed Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 with the National Symphony Orchestra.
- The Washington Post: "Shaham’s approach to Mozart’s Fifth Violin Concerto was stylish and filled with infectious joy. The music’s many delightful surprises were noted but not dwelt upon, and the slow movement was spellbinding."
- Washington Classical Review: "The first movement was quite brisk, with Bringuier forced at times to make slight corrections as Shaham darted ahead"
Karen Gomyo performed Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Dallas Symphony.
- Theater Jones: "She has almost superhuman technical abilities and a dramatic flair that captivates audiences worldwide. She is one of the few child prodigies that delivered, and then some, on her early promise and is undisputedly in the top ranks of violinists on the concert stage today."
- Dallas News: "But she played with such passion, with such dazzlingly flawless technique and with such tonal depth from her 1703 Stradivarius, that I gladly went along for the ride."
- Texas Classical Review: "After the obvious and appropriately intense orchestral opening, violinist Gomyo entered with a perfect balance of assertiveness and elegance for the main theme, followed by a gentle—but still assertive—lyricism for the yearning second theme."
Leonidas Kavakos performed Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The National Herald: "Kavakos demonstrated his usual exceptional technique, masterfully meeting the challenges of this long piece with its virtuoso demands for the soloist, and bringing his artistry and a freshness to this frequently performed violin concerto."
Anne Akiko Meyers performed the Barber Violin Concerto with Symphony Silicon Valley.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "Throughout the work, the focus was on Meyers for the strongly lyrical line she created in all three movements, even the busy finale, and the remarkable sound she drew out of her famous Guarneri violin."
Kristof Barati performed Brahms’ Violin Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
- The Scotsman: "But the real excitement lay in the way Baráti, a big strapping lad with supercharged rhythmic swagger, threatened on occasion to rock the steady boat. It was always more a tease than a reality, but with the unflappable Varga there to accommodate, even contain, things, the balance between perilous spontaneity and unified cohesion was thrillingly struck."
Julia Hwang performed the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Academy of St Thomas.
- Norwich Evening News: "Julia Hwang was the brilliant young soloist in Max Bruch’s first violin concerto; technically faultless, and compelling in her ability to convey the warmth of the first movement, the lyricism of the second, and the fire of the third."
Leia Zhu performed Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble.
- ynetnews.com: "The gifted young violinist performed flawlessly, demonstrating virtuosity throughout the three movements, whether the tempo was allegro, adagio or rondeaux-minuetto."
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