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Violinist BENJAMIN BEILMAN Enchants in Tucson

If music is magic, this sorcerer's ruse commenced with a facade of easy pastels, pleasantly drawn with facile dexterity. Then, without warning, sharp arrows begin piercing the canvass, as darker realities emerge from below... Such was the spell cast by Benjamin Beilman, the 27-year-old violinist, in collaboration with pianist Anna Polonsky, in the opening concert of the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music 2017-2018 season, October 15, 2017. Of course, music is not really magic – at least not of that variety – but an in-the-moment expression of an interpretive artist's cumulative experience of a composer's ideas. The admirable constants of Beilman's performance here were a strongly projected full tone and a penetrating delivery. All cresting waves, calm waters, and dark depths were explored from a very even keel – a captivating journey from beginning to close.          The most balanced crafting of contrasting emotions arrived immediately with Beethoven's Piano and Viol…
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Listening to the Tucson Symphony Orchestra under the baton of new Director, Josè Luis Gomez, it is clear that the music making has quickly taken on his character; joyful, optimistic, and very enthusiastic. The interpretations contain nuance, but no nonsense. Most tempos are quick, though not rushed; the playing always sounds natural. Tone colors are crisp and beautiful, and the architecture is sculpted clearly and in balance. This man loves how this orchestra plays, and has given himself to them. In turn, the players have responded in kind, happily engaging this lithe South American spirit. It is fun to watch and a joy to listen to. This second concert in the Inaugural Season of Maestro Gomez was another solid success. Popular classics by Debussy and Stravinsky were given colorful, energetic readings, and a romantic masterwork from Alexander Glazunov - one of the lesser performed Russian composers - made a fine impression in its Tucson premier. Interestingly, all three of these compo…


”I played 'Margariteña' with the Youth Orchestra at least 100 times, including once in Panama when we performed it with Mahler’s first symphony. This performance of Margariteña will celebrate the life and work of Inocente Carreño, who died in May 2016.” – José Luis Gomez
TSO Opening Night - 2017 The first concert of Jose Luis Gomez's so-called “Inaugural Season” - his second season conducting, but his first to design and control all the programs himself – was a resounding success. Opening with the TSO premier of a South American composer, followed by works from the two most popularly performed composers by U.S. orchestras, the stage was set for a detailed and exuberant statement to be made. Both Conductor and Orchestra were up for the task at hand, providing a worthy array and mastery of expression. Maestro Gomez's conducting is energetic and physically demonstrative. Tension is held and released with dance-like motions and control. Arms, wrists, and hands smoothly embr…

Rachmaninov Prelude op.32 n.12 in g sharp minor - HJ Lim 임현정

Ah, this is SO good. HJ Lim is Sviatoslav Richter's true successor as the living voice of Rachmaninoff. And, yes, one of her earrings drops to the keyboard at 1:52... :)

Beethoven, Hammerklavier Fugue - HJ Lim

PROOF POSITIVE - that HJ Lim is the greatest pianist to ever glide over the face of the planet Earth - unbelievable!

HJ Rachs Sergei's E-flat Minor 'Etude Tableau'

Video Review
HJ Lim - Rachmaninoff
Etude-Tableau N.5 op.39, live 2009

HJ plays Rachmaninoff Op. 39, #5

It is seriously difficult to describe how great is this recital excerpt. Having listened to/watched this video many times, I experience it as one of the most powerful, poetic, passionate, and penetrating, if petite, piano performances I have ever had the privilege to perceive or ponder. The all-too-common criticism of Asian virtuosi, along the axes of technical mastery versus expressivity, appear vapid and meaningless regarding HJ Lim, in the face of her unique yet complete integration of both. There is nothing cold about this virtuosity. There is nothing contrived in this expressivity. Our current era is dominated, if not flooded, by crisp, clean, clear, and yet mostly homogenized stage virtuosity. HJ Lim dives fearlessly into the composer's emotions, bringing luminosity to even the deepest and darkest of abysses. All thirsts of Spirit and Soul are here slayed. I openly welcome and …

Yuja Wang, Rachy III: Live, outdoors in Hamburg

Rachy III: Yuja Wang and Xian Zhang

I enjoy and admire Yuja Wang's musical interpretations; both her performance videos, and studio recordings. I am familiar with many of her online offerings, and rate most all of them highly. And her live DGG Rachmaninoff III and Prokofiev II with Dudamel in Venezuela ( is a fine performance by both, and a super-virtuoso's bravura throw-down to her peers! >>> Denis Matsuev had performed Rachmaninoff II and III in one concert in Moscow, and HJ Lim performed Rachmaninoff I, II, III, and the 'Paganini Variations' over three consecutive days in Barcelona. >>> However, unlike Yuja's two-concerti evening, neither of those other Herculean efforts were pre-planned and engineered to be recorded for CD release. Overall, Yuja's control of the instrument is masterful and complete, featuring a full and bright tone color palette, crisp and clear articulation, a ready power (surpr…