Marc-André Hamelin
The official website of pianist Marc-André Hamelin
Press
Music Toronto saves the best for last in its Chamber Music Downtown concert seri

"The D flat Major melody that interrupted the movement was as beautiful as one could ever imagine. Hamelin tore through the technically impossible octaves, scales and arpeggios like a stallion at full gallop. From beginning to end, he kept the listener on the edge of their seat."

David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews
1 4 shares Marc-Andre Hamelin wins listeners' hearts at Cleveland Int'l Piano Co

"Beethoven and Chopin were his two finest vehicles. The former's "Appassionata" Sonata and the latter's Sonata No. 2 he crafted into journeys ranging from poignant to exhilarating. All one could do for most of their duration was sit back and submit to the musical equivalent of two hurricanes."

Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer
Review: ASO performs a musical joke from a Russian master

"Hamelin handled the pointy melodies with a nearly percussive approach, in the next instance, issuing liquescent chromatic passages by barely even touching the keyboard. Hamelin’s performance, full of spellbinding technique and beautiful musicality, was stirring..."

Jon Ross, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Oregon Symphony review: Study in contrasts Oregon Symphony, guest conductor Nich

"...Hamelin urged a maximum of beauty and contrast from Rachmaninov’s headlong score."

Terry Ross, Oregon Artswatch
Hamelin honored with heroic embrace at SummerFest

"Beneath this bluster and exaggerated tenderness is one of the most original, radical piano works of the 19th century. Hamelin delineated each of Liszt’s themes, enabled us to hear them transformed, doing so with the consummate skill of a great actor performing a monolog.

One moment Hamelin demonically crashed out chords in the lowest register, the next teased out pianissimo plaintive utterances in the treble. He emphasized the wildness of Liszt’s narrative without derailing it.

It was a heroic journey, and at its quiet conclusion, Hamelin was given a hero’s celebration by the audience."

Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union Tribune
Review: Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin saves the day at Tanglewood

"Whether the music called for Hamelin to play slow, stately passages or a flurry of fast notes, he responded with a ferocious intensity that perfectly suited Beethoven's beautiful music. No wonder the crowd leapt to its feet after this piece."

Ken Ross, Masslive
REVIEW: Debussy: String Quartet in G minor op.10. Franck: Piano Quintet in F min

"Marc-André Hamelin has made a number of outstanding recordings, yet his playing in Franck’s Quintet is in a class apart, captured in sound of almost tactile presence. There are occasions – as in the Molto moderato opening section – when he appears to be merely breathing on the keys, shaping phrases with acute sensitivity to mood and atmosphere."

Julian Haylock, The Strad
Hamelin charms with a rapturous Mozart

"...his playing in the Piano Concerto No. 17 was offered like a flute of fine prosecco: witty, scintillating, joyful, lit with a warm golden glow"

Natasha Gauthier, Ottawa Citizen
Two piano virtuosos reveal very different musical sensibilities

"The three Book 2 "Images" of Debussy found Hamelin the subtle colorist, operating in his impressionist element. "Cloches a travers les feuilles" ("Bells Sounding Across the Leaves") delighted in delicate sprays of arpeggios over finely controlled washes of piano pastels. Both the second piece and "Poissons d'or" ("Goldfish") were object lessons in applying soft dynamic gradations without any loss of tonal presence."

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Emotional depths: Hamelin, Jurowski and the LPO in Rachmaninov and Zemlinsky

"Above all, this was a profoundly musical interpretation, one in which the listener was able to marvel at the sheer detail of Rachmaninov’s compositional magic while revelling in the virtuosic ease that Hamelin brought to it."

Matthew Rye, BachTrack
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski – Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau/Th

"How good to hear this music not used as a vehicle for ‘self’, and how well the writing takes to a leisurely but not indulged approach, yet with no lack of emotion or spirit and encompassing an unfailing sense of direction."

Colin Anderson, Classical Source
Marc-André Hamelin Gradually Ups the Ante at Carnegie Hall

"Mr. Hamelin, having spent much of his early career exploring pianistic showpieces on the fringes of the repertory, has a commanding technique. But there was no sense of slumming or condescension. As in his brilliant recordings of Haydn sonatas for Hyperion, Mr. Hamelin approached the relative simplicities with warmth and affection."

James R. Oestreich, The New York Times
Prom 36, Royal Albert Hall, review: Marc-Andre Hamelin dazzles in Ravel's left-h

“[Hamelin] made a brilliant fist of [Ravel‘s Left Hand Concerto]. Since the work dwells largely in the piano’s smoky lower regions, Hamelin found the ideal touch and tone... his lyrical flights and virtuoso cascades had such richness and amplitude that one completely forgot it was all from just one hand. His two-handed Debussy encore had lovely grace and power.“

Michael Church, The Independent
Theatricality and Complexity Communicated with Thoroughness and Clarity at the P

“Handling with care, but not with restraint, Hamelin indulged in Ravel’s jazz-influenced rhythms and harmonies. His enjoyment was transmitted to the audience who were stunned by Hamelin’s performance.“

Lucy Jeffery, Seen and Heard International
Prom 36: Hamelin, BBCSO, Roth

“The highlight of the evening, Ravel‘s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, which brought out the best in conductor, orchestra and the soloist Marc-André Hamelin...the whole reading had a convincing shape and heft.“

Sebastian Scotney, The Arts Desk
Prom 36: BBC Symphony Orchestra/François-Xavier Roth – Boulez’s Figures – Double

“The ‘jazz’ was darkly edgy, the Mother Goose-like episodes glinted in contrast and Hamelin’s dexterity was impressive... Hamelin offered an encore that was truly exceptional... This was as delicate as you can imagine, yet carrying effortlessly in the Royal Albert Hall – pastel-shaded, so sensitive, and wonderfully alluring and transporting.“

Colin Anderson, Classical Source
Review: Marc-André Hamelin Connects Past and Present in Kaye Playhouse Recital

“Mr. Hamelin, with his preternatural clarity and control, qualities that in him don’t preclude sensitivity and even poetry, was an ideal interpreter... When the performance ended, and Mr. Wyner was called to the stage, he bowed not to the audience but to Mr. Hamelin, giving gratitude where it was due.“

Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times
Marc-André Hamelin; Erik Satie: Memoirs of a Pear-Shaped Life reviews

“Marc-André Hamelin has effectively defined himself by espousing the repertory of pianist/composers such as Liszt and Alkan and making the extreme virtuosity they demand look simple. In this Cheltenham music festival morning recital, it was this ease of technique that made his playing of Debussy’s second book of Images so fluid, with tone colours graduated to create a vibrant resonance.“

Rian Evans, The Guardian
NJSO concludes the 2014-15 season with Beethoven

The piano's elaborate entrance provides an opportunity for showmanship, but Hamelin's performance was remarkable from the start for its seeming effortlessness and beauty of tone, no matter how intricate the music. His sound was round, silken and smooth, yet with laser-like articulation as well as thoughtful, personal phrasing.

The performance was also notable for its clear voicing, with depth in left hand lower register as melodies spun out energetically from the right hand alongside sensitive wind solos.

There were dreamy lulling moments, and Hamelin proved confident in weighty octaves and dense passages. The interpretation was meticulously paced, gradually gaining force.

Rugged, affirmative fanfare from orchestra complemented the soloist's displays of might.

The Adagio un poco mosso was fittingly gentle, like an exhalation after the athleticism of the massive first movement, and the whirling dance of the finale had spot-on, twinkle-in-the-eye charm.

Throughout, there was a sense of strength and bold personality so intrinsic to the composer yet a particular grace that was Hamelin's own.

Ronni Reich, The Star-Ledger
Review: New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Mr. Hamelin continues his triumphant march through the standard repertory, after years spent exploring arcane material heavy on virtuosic display. The “Emperor” Concerto, for all its musical substance, offers ample scope for virtuosity, and Mr. Hamelin showed his usual easy command in a reading as notable for its exquisite pianissimos and beautifully shaped phrases as for its Beethovenian bluster.

James R. Oestreich, The New York Times
Cleveland Orchestra proves there's no such thing as too much Haydn

"None, though, ranked as highly on the clarity scale as pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin... His Adagio was a thing of special beauty. Through him was channeled Haydn himself, engrossed at the keyboard in a moment of profound, personal reflection. Silken phrasing, Hamelin‘s fairy-like touch, and the score‘s own gentle dissonance combined to conjure a musical scene rare both then and today."

Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer
Will lightning strike twice with Seattle Symphony soloist?

"Hamelin made it clear in his Grieg Concerto performance that he brings more than a set of speedy digits to the concert stage. He is an intelligent and thoughtful artist, one who illuminates the tender eloquence of the Grieg as well as the thundering octaves and bravura flourishes. Hamelin’s clarity of touch was especially evident in the first-movement cadenza, which he played with great freedom."

Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times
Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin makes claim on greatness

"Schubert‘s Piano Sonata in B-flat... utterly distinctive to him and rendered in a manner that could only have been cultivated over multiple decades at the keyboard... Though this sonata is full of repeated notes in regular rhythms, no such thing existed in Hamelin‘s performance but was always handled with deeply considered expressive purpose, shaping phrases with such richness and authority that I often thought, ‘So that‘s what it means!‘... Hamelin‘s virtuoso piano technique was fully harnessed in the service of Schubert‘s unvirtuosic music, allowing soft playing to make a more penetrating impression than usual."

David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia inquirer
The magic of Les Violons du Roy and Marc-André Hamelin

"Hamelin joined for a crisp, but warm, account of Mozart‘s A major Rondo and a brilliant version of Haydn‘s D major Piano Concerto."

Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun
Canadians perform chamber classics

"Hamelin achieved an incredible and sensuous sound at the piano along with his clear and articulate touch... Technically Hamelin was flawless and his mastery and facility at the piano was revealed in this piece, which was enjoyable to experience."

Jordan Buchholtz, Kansas City Metropolis
Marc-André Hamelin's extraordinary versatility on full display

"Hamelin is known as a titanic interpreter of late Romantic and 20th-century showstoppers, but the beauty of his Mozart and Haydn shows the extraordinary versatility of his talents: supple, sensitive phrasing, dreamy legato and, always, that golden sound."

Natasha Gauthier, Ottawa Citizen
Marc-André Hamelin Turns the Keys into Silk at Koerner Hall

"The sensual elements of breeze, vibration, currents and splash were deftly evoked, especially by Hamelin’s magical undulations, so floating it was as if he had turned the keys into silk."

Robin Roger, Musical Toronto
Marc-André Hamelin at Koerner Hall

"Hamelin exhibited his extraordinary touch... brought more tonal definition to the next piece, a supreme example of impressionism impeccably delivered. It seemed impossible to do what he did, musically making sense of avalanches of chords and arpeggiated passages, balancing dynamics without crossing the imaginary line into gauche or inappropriate."

Paul Ennis, The WholeNote
Marc-André Hamelin at 92nd Street Y

“Is it possible for a pianist to be too good? If anyone faces jeopardy with that question, it’s Marc-André Hamelin... Outwardly miraculous, beneath the surface it felt as if each note’s every possibility had been considered in advance, then ensconced in a pianism of total authority.“

David Allen, The New York Times
The Oregon Symphony offers ingenious French music and a piano genius

"Is there anything Marc-André Hamelin can‘t do at the piano?... He was precise and startlingly bright in the Messiaen, giving no sense of effort in confronting the piece‘s considerable technical demands. In Liszt‘s over-the-top virtuoso showpiece, a set of variations on the “Dies Irae“ cast as a quasi-concerto, he gave the keyboard pyrotechnics their full due while still completely in control of touch and tone throughout, with no slop... [He was] urged to return by a riotous ovation."

James McQuillen, The Oregonian
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