Juho Pohjonen "Breathtaking" in Atlanta
— Arts ATL
Fresh off of his debut with the Vancouver Symphony, pianist Juho Pohjonen made his third appearance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano last weekend:
"Guest artist Juho Pohjonen, with his fingers seeming to barely touch the keys, then launched into a dizzying cadenza. He produced bubbly strings of sixteenth notes, ranging up and down the keyboard with an effortless technique... When Pohjonen finally stopped playing, it seemed like the perfect point for fulsome applause, but the initial movement of the concerto hadn’t even come to a close"
— Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Just as with his previous ASO appearance, Pohjonen’s performance was crisp and clear, unflappable, confident in execution."
— Arts ATL
"He coaxed a wonderfully clean and clear sound from the piano, which underscores the music’s structure. His playing was refined and controlled, without producing a large sound which was not required in this elegant and refined performance. The soloist and conductor were thoughtful in their choice of tempi in the second movement; they resisted the temptation to slow it down simply to heighten drama and melancholy. The finale was sharp and generated plenty of excitement."
Pohjonen makes his Cleveland Orchestra debut this August
with conductor Fabien Gabel. To learn more, click here.
Narek Hakhnazaryan "Stunning" in Kansas City; "Rocks" Utah
— Kansas City Star & Salt Lake Tribune
Cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan returned to the Kansas City Symphony with conductor Jun Märkl this month following his debut with the Utah Symphony under Thierry Fischer's baton. Both performances garnered rave reviews:
"Hakhnazaryan put on a textbook demonstration of left-hand pizzicato and other technical feats in the spellbinding cadenza. To the amazement of the crowd, the cellist capped this marathon with the equally dazzling Lamentatio by Giovanni Sollima, spiced up with vocalizations and percussive techniques."
— Salt Lake Tribune
"Hakhnazaryan’s encore, on Giovanni Sollima’s Lamentatio, was an absolutely captivating five minutes, with wordless singing over modal droning chords that led into a feverish display of technique as punk as anything, dissolving into harmonic smears."
— Kansas City Star
Hakhnazaryan makes his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra this month with conductor Ben Gernon and with the St. Louis Symphony in April 2018 with conductor Hannu Lintu. To learn more, click here.
Watch Hakhnazaryan perform Lamentatio: