Acclaim

Shaham’s cadenzas were especially appealing. Throughout the piece, she marvelously created moods that were majestic, dreamy, and playful.

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James Bash, Northwest Reverb

Shaham brought mesmerizing musical expression to the piece, giving clear shape and constant direction to long expressive lines, short interjections and colorful series of chords alike.

Playing with a relaxed command of the instrument, she used crisp executions, judicious pedaling and absolutely meticulous rhythms to give the audience a clear understanding of the architecture of the piece.

But this was far more than a diagram. Shaham's thoughtfully, gracefully shaped phrases, fascinating variety of accents, colorful shimmering passages and sweeping, powerful statements gave constant, compelling direction and meaning to the music.

Elaine Schmidt, Milwuakee Journal Sentinel

“As this new, superb live recording, with Orli Shaham and Marc-André Hamelin as the two swashbuckling pianists shows, Grand Pianola Music – together with Harmonielehre, Adams’s following score for the SFS – was a manifesto, a statement of intent…Grand Pianola Music remains as glorious as ever."

The Guardian – Andrew Clements
July 29, 2015

Andrew Clements, The Guardian

“…played with precision by Orli Shaham”

Music Web – Michael Cookson
September 6, 2015

Michael Cookson, Music Web

“… Grand Pianola Music is a built on a solid musical foundation. At least that’s how it sounds in the hands of pianists Orli Shaham and Marc-Andre Hamelin, who really find and make something of their highly involved, if relentlessly triadic, solo parts. Adams has been faulted (most memorably in the late ’80s by The New York Times) for his extensive use of arpeggios, but in Grand Pianola Music they function in a similar way as they do in Beethoven, namely as the scaffolding of the music’s expressive aim and it’s the job of the pianists here to make them sing. Shaham and Hamelin manage that beautifully and with lots of heart, especially in the second half of Part 1. Pianists Shaham and Hamelin are also heard to full advantage as they boisterously cut loose with technique ranging from Rachmaninoff to Liberace. (Hey, Adams said it first.)"

Arts Fuse – Jonathan Blumhofer
August 27, 2015

Jonathan Blumhofer, Arts Fuse

 “Pianists Orli Shaham and Marc-André Hamelin dazzle, and the three vocalists are impeccably balanced.”

Arts Desk - Graham Rickson
October 5, 2015

 

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Graham Rickson, Arts Desk
Couple's irresistibly inventive talent keeps CSO audience entertained

Shaham...is completely at home with the music of today. She played with absolute confidence, weight and singing tone throughout its many challenges, from simple childhood tunes that reminded one of Satie, to a huge triple fugue at the end. A long, meandering cadenza at its center, for piano alone, had an improvisatory feel, and the effect was mesmerizing...Shaham communicated with expressive beauty.

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer

American Grace demonstrates that modern piano repertoire is alive and flourishing in the hands of some of the great composers of our time.

Alison Howard, CBC Music

This is a performance that gives me great joy to listen to. You have here twenty astonishing agile and inspired fingers working in perfect sync throughout the piece. Any composer should be so lucky to receive such a reading as Orli and Jackie have done!

John Adams
Shaham not only exudes her deep understanding of and feeling for the music, but also radiates a contagious joy in performing it...
Ilona Oltuski, GetClassical
She showed herself to be a first-rate Mozartean, combining a crisp keyboard touch with an uncommonly nuanced approach to tone and phrase. Her solos proved consistently well-crafted and engaging, her accompanying passages a sparkling counterpoint to the orchestral statements.
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Ms. Shaham offered a daringly forceful interpretation of the [Brahms] F minor Sonata. Where the music so much as hinted that power would be welcome, Ms. Shaham supplied it amply, with sharply articulated phrasing as a bonus.....she was at her best when Brahms turned up the heat, and as big as her sound was in the scherzo and the finale, Ms. Shaham kept it trim and fully focused.
The New York Times
Shaham is an exceptionally well-rounded and solid pianist. Her musicality is remarkable, and her technique is nothing short of flawless. And she had the chance to show off both. The Second is probably the most popular of Saint-Saen's five piano concertos, and Shaham played it as if she owned it. She gave a penetrating and emotionally charged reading of the slow opening movement with its many extended solo sections for the piano. Her playing was nuanced and well-crafted and -phrased.
Deseret News
Rach 2 with Shaham in Winston-Salem
From the opening rolled chords, it was clear that Shaham is a powerful player and her interaction with the orchestra was first-rate...The pianist's delicate playing was exquisite, inviting the listener into a more intimate world.
Timothy H. Lindeman, Classical Voice of North Carolina

Shaham brings a sense of friendliness and intimacy to her playing, with a warmth that reaches beyond the proscenium to touch the listener. Her Mozart had both delicacy and strength, and she was well in sync with her colleagues, for an engaging and enjoyable reading.

St. Louis Post Dispatch

[Shaham's performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 was] ...a vibrant, engaged performance... Elements such as the lyric theme in the second movement were sensitively shaped and elegantly rendered. When the music demanded more, as in the animated final movement, Shaham stepped up, seeming to relish the opportunity. The audience rewarded her with a standing ovation and numerous curtain calls.

San Diego Union-Tribune
Orli Shaham played the prominent keyboard part [of Bernstein's second symphony, 'The Age of Anxiety'] - Bernstein's own response to the Auden poem of the title - with great panache in the jazzy passages, which came complete with authentic slap bass. Gorgeous.
The Guardian
Orli Shaham gave a superb account of the solo piano part, with deep color and fine details; while many pianists toss off "The Masque" with be-bop brittleness, Shaham opted for an intriguingly Chopin-like undulation and haze, the lens of disillusion powerfully distorting.
The Faster Times
"Pianist Orli Shaham leapt fearlessly and brilliantly into the complex work, finding in the composer's spiky dissonance the stuff of rare, startling poetry [Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques]."
The Baltimore Sun

"A fabulous pianissimo ... Ms. Shaham showed a firm, elastic touch, anchoring the frantic final movement [of the Ravel]."
The New York Times
"[of Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques] ...brilliant pianist Orli Shaham playing the wildly difficult solo part."
The New York Times
"Her playing blends confidence with reflective grace, digital wizardry with subtlety of touch. Shaham tied everything into convincing packages by sustaining lines and making sure the sonorities were as clear as crystal."
The Plain Dealer [Cleveland]
"...a demonstrative artist, boldly imparting her deepest sentiments with courage, flair and vulnerability."
Omaha World Herald
"Shaham was quite brilliant in her ability to change styles abruptly from the ecstatic to the disheartened to the morose and to the resigned. She was on top of every phrase, pushing toward climatic points and cadences."
The Kalamazoo Gazette
"Her playing is graceful, but still rigorous, very romantic, yet strong. This is an artist whose growth and career should be worth watching."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"The beautiful young pianist Orli Shaham not only is technically flawless, but also her innate musicality transforms every phrase she touches into a finely sculpted work of art. Her sound has a soft brilliance, her fluid scales are clearly articulated and subtly inflected. Yet, she can go from delicate lyricism to strongly dramatic intensity with seamlessness. Her body movements reflect the emotional content of the music which seems to inhabit her. Yet, she remains in control, serenely confident, taking time to reflect, and is keenly of the orchestra of which she becomes an integral part."
Herald-Tribune [Sarasota]
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