San Francisco Symphony / Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1

He brought broad-beamed panache to the outer movements, and a limpid expressiveness to the slow movement that left no lyrical stone unturned."

“… Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which preceded intermission with Garrick Ohlsson as the mighty, nimble soloist. As soon as Mälkki and the orchestra launched into the concerto’s opening strains, the audience understood that we were going to hear every note and phrase of the score in intimate detail. The effect, as always, was not without a bit of glare, but it compensated…

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Garrick Ohlsson an elegant guest with the Philadelphia Orchestra

The pianist made a marvelous Mozartian

Garrick Ohlsson is a pianist of enormous power, but on Friday afternoon with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he was the perfect Mozartian. In the Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503, with conductor Herbert Blomstedt as his kindred spirit, all was orderly and deliberate. Mozart, they argued, is an excellent place for detail work. Contrasting fluidity with a considerably more lithe…

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Garrick Ohlsson’s “Smetana”

What courage must have been required to tackle these most nationalistic of all Smetana's works, and what an accomplishment to present them not only lovingly but fairly bursting with character.

Just when you think that Garrick Ohlsson finally has all bases covered – from such staples as a complete Chopin cycle and all the Beethoven sonatas, through the Russians to interesting Liszt, unusual Americans, Debussy and Bartók, Granados and the Weber sonatas – he strikes out in a new direction. His most recent musical passport stamp is from the Bohemian lands, where’s he…

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A sound so lush it almost glistens: pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays UW

Ohlsson, a Seattle favorite, gave his sixteenth appearance at Meany Hall and played razor-sharp renditions of Chopin, Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Enrique Granados and more.

Tuesday night marked the sixteenth appearance in the Meany Theater for internationally renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson. Judging from the rapturous response of the large audience, Seattle is definitely ready for a seventeenth. When Ohlsson arrives to play the President’s Piano Series, it’s always a special occasion, and Tuesday evening’s program was especially tasty: a great Beethoven…

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Review: Brahms Festival Finale (Garrick Ohlsson, WASO)

...listening to Saturday night's performances of Brahms' Piano Concerto No 2 in B flat, Op. 83 and Symphony No 4 in E minor, Op. 98 by pianist Garrick Ohlsson, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor Asher Fisch was one of the most profoundly thrilling and beautiful musical experiences of my life.

My friend and colleague Neville Cohn, music critic for The West Australian, emailed me this morning to say, “In more than three decades of listening to the WASO, last night’s performance was surely one of the most memorable – and for the very best of reasons.” I would go one further and say that listening to Saturday night’s performances of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No 2 in…

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Spellbound by Wizardry

There was not a hint of strain as Ohlsson confronted, and surmounted with astonishing ease, the sort of pianistic obstacle course that only the chosen few are able to negotiate. Here, the grandeur inherent in so much of the writing was wondrously apparent.

In visual terms, Garrick Ohlsson looks well equipped to tackle Brahms’ gigantic piano concertos. Built like a rugby fullback and with hands that know no fears, he steered a breathtakingly fine way through two of the toughest keyboard assignments in the concerto repertoire. There was not a hint of strain as Ohlsson confronted, and surmounted with astonishing ease, the sort of pianistic obstacle…

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