Santiago Rodriguez

Biography - CD Reviews - Concert Reviews
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Concert Reviews

"Rodriguez has all the technique any pianist can possibly accommodate, all the endurance, all the versatility. The extra things are hard to define: warmth, inwardness, directness of communication, imagination, magnetism—all over and above the basics. He can play Mozart like an angel in full possession of his powers. He does not strive to be angelic; his sense of fitness, of simplicity, of clarity, of radiant sun and fleeting shadows, just make him that way. He can play Brahms' "Variations on a Theme of Paganini," both books, like a demon in full control of his powers. His abandon, his accuracy, his power are diabolical. Nothing gets out of hand; the musicality is sustained and constant. When he wants variety in a repetition, he does more than just play softer the second time; he divines new shades and colors in the repeat. It was a staggering combination of musical insight and bravura extroversion."

- Los Angeles Times

"Santiago Rodriguez is one of the finest pianists on the international scene. In an age in which classicism is revered, this Cuban-born pianist remains a fervent Romantic, spellbinding the audience with his warmth and Promethean fire."

- The Washington Post

"Mr. Rodriguez reminded us from the start that Rachmaninoff possessed a compelling musical imagination. ...Mr. Rodriguez, who is a phenomenal pianist, evidently believes that Rachmaninoff's inner intricacies are worth our attention. Every figure was exploited, not treated as mood-inducing background hum."

- The New York Times

"Spanish blood is no guarantee of expertise in Spanish or Latin-American repertory...but Rodriguez has fingers, coloristic imagination and a sonority perfectly suited to this music. ...Expertise in Spanish romanticism should translate effectively to the Russian romanticism—and Rodriguez did not disappoint in this regard. The pianist's beautifully organized reading of the composer's "Corelli Variations" was as affecting emotionally as it was dazzlingly fluid and graceful."

- The Baltimore Sun

"Rodriguez proved a poetic interpreter in the Schumann Concerto...He found much of the inner glow of the music and expressed it in playing that matched his mercurial temperament."

- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Santiago Rodriguez conquered an affectionate and appreciative audience presenting an unusual program of Rachmaninov and Spanish music."

- Corriere di Ravenna, Ravenna, Italy

"This was Rodriguez's Paganini Rhapsody, make no mistake about it: deliciously lyrical, taut in the classical sense, but high strung in the romantic. The audience fell for the gifted pianist and called him back to the stage time after time."

- The Indianapolis Star

"The audience response to his elegant and eloquent traversal of the Grieg Piano Concerto underscored the fact that Rodriguez knows how to get across the romantic heart of this music, and how to communicate with his listeners."

- The Seattle Times

"He is not simply a great pianist: He is one of the few that I would want to hear playing the standard repertoire war-horses. ...Rodriguez has lots of ideas about how the pieces should go and delivers them with bracing, brilliant technique and refreshing brisk tempos. ...Rodriguez was born to play Rachmaninoff, but not because he confirms your ideas on how the ever-popular Russian romantic should sound. He has the technical ability and coloristic sense to make big musical statements, but always uses them to clarify the content rather than to create an effect for its own sake."

- Arts & Entertainment

"Rachmaninoff is Rodriguez' specialty, and he stands among the few pianists with the reserve strength, stamina, drop-dead technique and instincts to play an all-Rachmaninoff program convincingly."

- San Antonio Express-News

"He combines the technique of a virtuoso with the poetic sensibility and organizational clarity of Dinu Lipatti or Murray Perahia, even in such show-off pieces as the Rachmaninoff Preludes and Scriabin's Fourth Sonata."

- New York Magazine

"Pianist Santiago Rodriguez gave a distinguished recital Thursday night at the Kennedy Center, showing an exceptional technique and discriminating artistic sensibility that put him in the upper crust of today's performing musicians."

- The Washington Post

"Cuban-born piano virtuoso Santiago Rodriguez indulged in an extensive and rewarding exploration of Rachmaninoff's solo-piano work...Rodriguez bared the soul of a Romantic, playing with wistful dreaminess and a velvety-soft touch."

- The Arizona Republic

"Rodriguez, with technique to spare, easily maneuvered his way through Khachaturian's challenging passage work, bringing out even the most complex sections cleanly and confidently."

- The Syracuse Post-Standard



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