Rachmaninoff with the Boston Symphony Orchestra

What might it take to make a Rachmaninoff piano concerto look easy, as pianist Garrick Ohlsson did on Thursday evening at Symphony Hall with the Boston Symphony Orchestra?

“An encyclopedic knowledge of the piano repertoire probably helps. Over his decades-long career, Ohlsson has made his name foremost as an interpreter of Chopin (to date, he’s the only American to win the gold medal at Warsaw’s International Chopin Piano Competition), but his repertoire spans the Classical period to the present day, with some unusual highlights, such as Busoni’s…

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Rachmaninoff with the New York Philharmonic

...a vigorous, crisp and clear performance without a trace of Romantic excess

Following “Tao,” the orchestra was joined by the brilliant pianist Garrick Ohlsson for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, a vigorous, crisp and clear performance without a trace of Romantic excess. New York Times “The wonderful American pianist Garrick Ohlsson was the soloist for the Rachmaninov, a big bear of a man with a Horowitz-like heft to his playing. He had an…

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Charlotte Symphony

Ohlsson’s fleeting smile accompanied rare moments when he lightened up, and his brow furrowed when he turned up the wattage. Mostly, though, he played with serene grace.

Charlotte Observer “Every note of the concerto sounded fresh and new – until we slid into the familiar final movement with hardly a pause. Everyone onstage lit into it with gusto, the swift finger work at the start of this Rondo presenting no difficulty at all for Ohlsson, who proved that he was holding his full power in reserve for this celebratory climax. Ebb and flow weren’t so much…

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BSO, Alsop and Ohlsson deliver in forceful season-opener

With his unfailing musicality, wealth of tone coloring and infallible technique, Ohlsson delivered a memorable account of the “Rhapsody.” The pianist brought startling thunder to the score’s drama, exquisite tenderness to its poetry. Alsop and the scintillant orchestra backed him all the way.

For an encore, Ohlsson definitely added to the evening’s theme with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s well-worn C-sharp minor Prelude that was, in its dynamic range and expressive weight, fully heroic. The Baltimore Sun

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Tanglewood Festival

Friday night's program was distinguished by Garrick Ohlsson's crystalline touch in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9, K.271, generally regarded as his first mature piano concerto. Ohlsson is a big man and can turn on the power if needed, but here he offered lightness and grace in the fast outer movements of the 21-year-old Mozart's charmer.

“The slow movement, by contrast, had the hushed mystery that crops up (like pathos) elsewhere in Mozart. After the plunge into that darker world, Ohlsson’s joking finale seemed all but giddy. The BSO accompanied faithfully, and Ohlsson played Chopin’s Nocturne in F-sharp, Opus 15, No. 2, as a solo encore.” The Berkshire Eagle “The program took on a deeper, weightier…

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