Recent Reviews

 

"Yu displayed a range capable of nuanced wistfulness maintaining a warmth even without vibrato to highly impassioned yearning and agitation. Clearly unafraid of the wide range of Romanticism and able to go where his heart led, Yu had an able collaborator in Kahane who flowed with the music with equal abandon...By the end of the concert, we were rewarded with one final treat in one of the most satisfying and schmaltzy renditions of Fritz Kreisler’s “Liebesleid” I’ve ever heard."

-Heard Tribune, June 2, 2019

Read the full review Heart-filled performance of Brahms sonatas in Music Festival opener

"As one would expect, then, the violin part is extremely difficult, requiring the soloist to range across the fingerboard from the lowest position to the highest while clearing an encyclopedic list of technical hurdles. Angelo Xiang Yu did all of this and more: he maintained a manner not only poised, but insouciant, as though to ask, “You call this difficult?” Unfazed by every challenge, he maintained a tone of absolute purity and intense beauty, very much in the Heifetz style and at Heifetz’s level. This critic can offer no higher praise."

-The Spokesman, Mar. 2019

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"Rarely will one hear such a finely layered welding of dramatic fire and expressive elegance as that served up by Yu, as with his seamless easing into the lyrical passages from the main theme."

-Chicago Classical Review, Oct. 2018

Read the full review Chamber Music Society brings a refining fire to artful Kreutzer program 

 

"I am at a loss to describe the arresting quality of his tone. From the first note I felt riveted by its depth and intensity...such a compelling sound and presence had a wealth of material to wow us with in the virtuosic demands of Bruch’s concerto. Yu imbued the Adagio with heart-wrenching commitment and squeezed every phrase for maximum effect. By the end of the electrifying Finale, I just sat in amazement while the crowd cheered."

-Herald Tribune, June. 2018

Read the full review Violin soloist displays virtuosic skill in Sarasota Music Festival concert

 

 

"The most inspiring and life-enhancing performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s 'The Four Seasons' I’ve heard... "

-MIDDLE C - Classical Music Reviews, Wellington, New Zealand, May. 2018

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"Yu went on to give a commanding and personal rendition of the ever-popular and well-recognised work with a style and even some humour that made the performance distinctively his own. Whether it was a tilt of his head, the angle of his body, the position of his feet, or his facial expression, Yu brought his personality to the performance. Little touches like holding the orchestra back or pushing ahead, or waiting one second more before resuming a phrase brought an individuality that made this version of The Four Seasons all his own. Clearly a virtuoso, Yu’s technique dazzled us. There is always something satisfying about the sound of period instruments playing music of their era, and in Yu’s hands, the Stradivarius delivered a tone that managed to be both rich and mellow, crisp and neat at the same time."

-Wellington Regional News, May. 2018

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"Violin Concerto No. 2 by Prokofiev came next, played by Angelo Xiang Yu, making his second appearance with the North Carolina Symphony. His was a masterful performance, in total command of the myriad difficulties of the violin part. "

-CVNC, April. 2018

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"Among the many excellent violin-piano recitals given in Boston this season, the concert by violinist Angelo Xiang Yu and composer /pianist Andrew Hsu at Jordan Hall Saturday night stands out as dazzlingly stellar...The duo opened Beethoven’s beguiling “Spring” Sonata, Opus 24, poetically, with exquisitely shaped and balanced phrasing by the two; not-only did Yu exhibit a preternaturally steady bow arm and impeccable intonation, but the perfectly focused tone quality from the 1729 Strad and the mature artistry that these techniques serviced left us all agape...After ovation mayhem broke out, there was no way these two consummate musicians could escape without obliging with two encores. The bittersweet Liebesleid (Love’s Sorrow) by Fritz Kreisler possessed a quiet but emphatic dignity; the luscious and heartfelt “Meditation” from Thais by Jules Massenet would have melted an iceberg."

-The Boston Musical Intelligencer, March. 2018

Read the full review "Duo That Can Melt Icebergs"

"...This sonata epitomized the other outstanding feature of the concert – Yu’s endlessly varied expression. Using every part of the bowing area between bridge and fingerboard, and a variety of bow angles and tilts, his strings sang out soulfully over piano storms here, deftly inserted asides in response to piano thrusts there, and in that opening tune, seemed to radiate a palpable warmth. A lesser violinist would carelessly and awkwardly push those asides into the foreground, but these sonatas are an utterly equal partnership between violin and piano, and Yu knew when to yield the spotlight."

-Oregon Artswatch, Nov. 2017

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"...A seasoned soloist with a dazzling technique. He moved animatedly as he played and turned from orchestra to audience, while he communicated with technical wizardry and an impish personality.His lightness and Mozartian style were impressive, and he tackled runs and cadenzas with absolute control.

The violinist’s artistry was most evident in the slow movement, where his phrases were drawn out, interior and lyrical. It was a breathtaking moment amid all the fireworks. For an encore, Yu offered an enthralling performance of “Meditation” from “Thais.” It was finally a chance to revel in the sweet tone of his rare violin, and you could have heard a pin drop in the hall."

-Cincinnati Enquirer, Aug. 2017

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"Commanding an exceptional musical talent and a sublimely polished technique, Angelo owned
the stage from the very beginning, managing to naturally communicate to the audience – with
his distinct style and joyful presence."

--Diario Hispaniola, Aug. 2017

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"...Yu, who combined a silky-smooth bowing arm with a virtuosic left hand, making well-shaped phrases that mused and sighed through Saint-Saëns’ grand melodies. His buttery rubato never strayed into over-sentimentality...Yu kept a serene look on his face, seeming to find ecstasy in his own long bow strokes. Despite this serenity, in the cadential passages he managed some real grit – extraneous frictional sounds that provided important contrast to the general smoothness of his style."

--Chicago on the Aisle, July. 2017

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"His playing throughout was precise, yet it felt in many ways unscripted, as if Yu could at any moment add just enough of his personality to create something wholly original. Of course he never strayed from the score, bringing to the stage a unique experience...Not surprisingly, Friday’s audience showered Yu with bravos and a standing ovation. He returned the love with a pair of encores — a spirited turn on Paganini’s playful Caprice No. 9 and a movement from Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1. When he got to the final note, Yu let it delicately fade just as the hall erupted in another round of bravos."

---The Arizona Daily Star, Mar. 2017

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"Yu took to heart the advice of Prokofiev himself to 'Play it as if you were trying to convince somebody.' He is a master of the subtleties of both the instrument and this music. His chromatics were satiny, his pizzicati drilling, and his spiccato – bouncing the bow on the strings – a model for students and a joy to hear."

---The Green Valley News, Mar. 2017

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"Angelo Xiang Yu displayed amazing scope of technique on an instrument with tone so sweet it could imitate the breath through a woodwind...He delivered confident glances to the audience between impossibly high lyrical passages, scorching fiddle chords, flying spiccato and echoes of a plucked guzheng. The accompaniment surged with a colorful narrative in the finale as Yu carried off trills and runs like single note melodies into a standing ovation. The audience was rewarded with an unaccompanied solo as an encore."

---The Elgin Review, Jan. 2017

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"His tone is exquisite; his technique is superhuman...he becomes one with the violin. Too often, a violin soloist is the center of attention, with the orchestra as backdrop. This wasn’t so with Yu. He had a real conversation with the orchestra, leaning in and acknowledging the interchanges with various instruments and sections."

---Broome Arts, Oct. 2016

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"Mr. Yu played with sweetness of tone and was matched by Kahane in all the subtle emotions and colors. It was a delight to hear this sonata in the hands of these masters of expressive nuance and color. The playing in the Largo/Allegro was like a conversation with bursts of laughter, and in the Andante it was touching in it's simple loveliness. The performers seemed to be completing each others thoughts as in a great opera duet, The last movement was a riot of fun, smiles abounding. "

---Classical Sonoma, Jun. 2016

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"Yu matches a velvety tone to a contemplative style rare in a musician of 27. Many soloists use this concerto to throw off sparks; Yu was determined to place it among the greats, along the Brahms-Beethoven axis, and played with meditative intensity. That feeling carried over into his encore, a movement from Bach’s Sonata No. 1 during which neither he nor the audience seemed to draw breath."

---The Charlotte Observer, Apr. 2016

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"Yu captured the imagination of Saint-Saëns' writing, which paints vividly realized soundscapes of Parisian lifestyle that holds, at its center, the human heart in wonderment and battle with itself. Yu passionately played the second movement, where his bowing echoed the clarinet so that the sound from both sounded like a distant pipe organ. The notes grew farther and farther apart as though the romantic artist clings to a muse that is already halfway out the door. Yu's nuanced playing brought on such idealistic thinking. How rare it is an artist can engage one's imagination to the lengths he did with this piece."

---CVNC, Apr. 2016

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"Xiang Yu owned the Mozart, playing with beautifully shaped phrases and crisp passage work. Plus he had a fiddle that could project."

---Providence Journal, Feb. 2016

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"...Rarely have I heard the first

movement’s romantic second theme, for instance, played with such lush sensitivity...Particularly impressive was

his extreme upper register, which revealed a remarkable, even vibrato that eludes even the best

of soloists in that range. Yu’s encore, the Adagio from Bach’s G minor sonata, revealed

impeccable intonation and a wonderful intimacy."

---BachTrack, Mar. 2016

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"A sensitive and lyrical musician, Yu

projected beautifully in Jemison Concert Hall, weaving in and around the orchestra at will. At times in

the opening movement, his impetuousity led to slight ensemble discrepancies, but as the work

progressed, it became increasingly clear that here was a true virtuoso. Soft soaring high melodies

rang fervently in the Andante. Gutsy double-stops and repeated down bows in the gritty finale

exaggerated Prokofiev’s acerbic wit."

---ArtsBHA, Jan. 2016

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"The sounds Yu produced to launch into Tzigane’s long opening cadenza were startlingly big, steely and woody at once. He danced like a gypsy and used the stage as an extended soundboard, moving forward several feet at times to produce a whole different sonic projection for different parts of the hall...Hard to imagine it done better!"

---The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Jan. 2015

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"A stupendous technique and a musical voice all his own. At this point, violinist (Angleo) Xiang Yu sounds like a mature artist ready to commence a major career."

---The Art Fuse, Apr. 2014

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"Needing no warming up himself, Yu impressed the audience from the start with playing beyond his years."

---The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Apr. 2014

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"By the sheer quality and force of his sound and ideas Angelo emerged as an artist with a distinct voice and an extraordinary ability to engage."

---The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Jan. 2013

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"...His performance was in a different league of ease, communication, shading, character and charm, and it came as no surprise that the audience lapped it up at the end, and that he won first prize as well as the audience prize..."

---The Strad, April 2010

Review of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition Final Round

 

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