Minnesota Public Radio: Pianist Haochen Zhang offers a fresh take on Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev

Minnesota Public Radio: Pianist Haochen Zhang offers a fresh take on Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev

Chinese American pianist Haochen Zhang became a gold medalist and a first prize winner of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. At age 19, he was one of the youngest winners in the competition. Ten years later, Haochen has just released his second recording. It features Tchaikovsky's powerful Piano Concerto No. 1 and the work he performed in the final round of the Cliburn Competition: Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2.

WFMT: Watch violinist Anne Akiko Meyers perform Bach and Gounod’s Ave Maria

WFMT: Watch violinist Anne Akiko Meyers perform Bach and Gounod’s Ave Maria

Bach and Gounod's Ave Maria has always held a special place in violinist Anne Akiko Meyers' repertoire: she grew up playing the beloved work. "It's just one of the most beautiful pieces," Meyers shared during her August 16 Impromptu performance with pianist Marta Aznavoorian. Meyers visited WFMT ahead of her Sunday evening performance of Barber's Piano Concerto at Ravinia Festival with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.

Washington Post: Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Debuts at Wolf Trap

Washington Post: Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Debuts at Wolf Trap

With new sounds in the beginning of the concert to the tried and true of the Western canon, the Shanghai Symphony’s debut at Wolf Trap was a wonderful snapshot of its musical history and tradition.

The Times: Mahan Esfahani – Bach Toccatas Review – Bold, Dynamic, and Stupendous

The Times: Mahan Esfahani – Bach Toccatas Review – Bold, Dynamic, and Stupendous

Mahan Esfahani’s goal in life, his biographical note says, is to “bring the harpsichord to the concert mainstream”. To further this, the Iranian-American musician commissions new pieces, which is certainly one way of taking the keyboard instrument that plucks its strings out of history’s cocoon and welcoming it into the modern world. The other way is to give such thunderously exciting performances of old repertoire that anyone with ears to hear will sit there with mouth agape.

Chicago Tribune: Shanghai Symphony Brings 140-Year Tradition to America

Chicago Tribune: Shanghai Symphony Brings 140-Year Tradition to America

When the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra makes its Chicago-area debut Aug. 16 at the Ravinia Festival, no one will be prouder of the occasion than its music director, Long Yu.

Gramophone: The Listening Room – Haochen Zhang

Gramophone: The Listening Room – Haochen Zhang

A terrific new recording of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto comes from 2009 Van Cliburn Competition winner Haochen Zhang - quite a feather in BIS’s cap as they’ve also this year's Tchaikovsky Competition winner Alexandre Kantorow on their books.

Financial Times: Mahan Esfahani – Bach: Toccatas – free and spontaneous performances

Financial Times: Mahan Esfahani – Bach: Toccatas – free and spontaneous performances

As the outstanding harpsichordist of the younger generation, Esfahani naturally plays the toccatas on a harpsichord… Esfahani’s playing feels free and spontaneous without losing the underlying pulse of the music. The toccatas display their brilliance proudly. One can imagine the young Bach showing off his prowess just like this.

Clef Notes: Q&A with Celebrated Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers

Clef Notes: Q&A with Celebrated Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers

One of the most gifted violinists of her generation, Anne Akiko Meyers embodies what a virtuoso violinist should be as a powerful interpreter of beloved repertoire that spans centuries and yet poised to open that same repertoire to new music, serving as a vanguard in what has traditionally been a guarded space.

BBC Music: August Live Choice – Grand Teton Music Festival

BBC Music: August Live Choice – Grand Teton Music Festival

Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin joins the Festival Orchestra and conductor Donald Runnicles for Shostakovich ‘s buoyant Second Piano Concerto. Anna Clyne’s This Midnight Hour, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide, and Debussy’s Preludes, arranged for orchestra, complete the eclectic programme.