Yefim BronfmanPianist


Critical Acclaim

Now Availalbe: San Diego SO, Ling / Bronfman / Mendelssohn, Dvorák, Brahms
Instant Encore!, 3-11-09

“It was impossible to ignore the singular achievement involved in [Bronfman’s] executing [Berg’s] thorny complexities as if they were mere child’s play [in the Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin and 13 Winds]. The pianist’s uncanny ability to make the musical texture unfailingly clear throughout, his range of sonority – from lyrical to pungent, to explosive, with earthy rumbles in the bass and light, tip-toeing passages in the treble – and the rhythmic precision of the pianist (and of violinist Gil Shaham, and the entire ensemble) apparently astounded even the conductor. When the piece ended, Mr. Levine could be seen mouthing the words ‘wow, wow, wow’ as the audience jumped to its feet.”
Wall Street Journal, 2-26-08 [Stuart Isacoff]

“It’s rare to hear the [Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto] delivered with the kind of fervor and fluidity that Bronfman brought to it. His huge keyboard attack and athletic rhythmic palette have softened over the years, so that he produces explosive playing without bombast and fortissimo passages that register with elocutionary clarity. “Those virtues turned the two outer movements of the concerto into displays of extraordinary vigor and assurance, as Bronfman tore through the passagework with demonic precision and leavened the music with little pockets of translucent calm. The tart inventiveness of the slow movement … was just as striking, and Bronfman also rewarded the audience with an electrifying encore of Chopin’s “Revolutionary” Etude, Op. 10, No. 12.”
San Francisco Chronicle, 6-18-07 [Joshua Kosman]

“Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is a showpiece for a virtuoso of the keyboard, one with enough guts to tackle its challenges, and enough confidence to laugh at its difficult twists. Yefim Bronfman displayed more than guts and confidence, he showed some serious chutzpah. He … renewed our awe Thursday night at Davies Symphony Hall with as solid a performance. He even got an extra brownie point for tongue-in-cheek creativity … by missing the last note of the first movement, a fortissimo ending which he landed slightly off, only to rebound one octave lower on an improvised, yet perfectly fitting ending. The whole thing happened so smoothly, so naturally, and Bronfman was so impassive, that we even doubt it ever happened. So pleased was the audience, it broke convention to applaud in-between movements. Yet MTT could not stop chuckling at his virtuoso for such clever resourcefulness and had to extend the break a little bit so he could regain his composure. “But you need resourcefulness to play such concerto, and you have to give Bronfman credit for invention. ... Inspired by Bronfman’s showmanship, the orchestra clearly reveled in the brash interpretive tack. Still, undercurrents of delicate grace would appear here and there.”
sFist, 6-16-07 [Cedric]

“The brilliant soloist, Yefim Bronfman, tore through this staggeringly difficult piano part [Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1] with such technical command and tireless energy that I bet he could have played it right through a second time and once again not dropped a single note. The famous opening chords rang through the hall with steely tone and chilling power. The onrushing passage work had crackling clarity and sweep. He dispatched the bursts of double octaves and repeated chords as if his arms were jackhammers. There were moments of delicacy and ruminative lyricism as well …The finale whisked by like some hellbent Russian dance.” – New York Times 3.6.06 “Mr. Bronfman did some of the best teaching you can ever hope to witness [in a master class at the Mannes College of Music]. I would go so far as to say it was revelatory. He taught in two pieces that are extremely well-known: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in C minor and his ‘Moonlight’ Sonata. Familiar as they are, you felt, when Mr. Bronfman was through, that you had hardly known them. … Polite and encouraging as he was, he never hesitated to give a candid assessment or candid advice. … He rarely said, ‘Do this, do that.’ Instead, he would say, ‘I would do this, I would do that.’ “But, frankly, most of what Mr. Bronfman had to say sounded more like absolute truth than personal opinion.… And his playing, his demonstrating? Almost beyond praise. … To hear Mr. Bronfman play, and talk, was a profound experience (as well as a dazzling one). “When the first Mannes student left the stage, Mr. Bronfman said, ‘Of course, you should feel free to disregard everything we’ve talked about.’ I wouldn’t – and neither would anyone else.”
New York Sun, 6-05-07 [Jay Nordlinger]

“Mr. Salonen conducted the premiere of his piano concerto, dedicated to the evening’s soloist, Yefim Bronfman. … Mr. Bronfman played it with such stunning command, myriad colorings, incisive articulation and subtlety, a performance all the more impressive because Mr. Salonen did not hand over the completed score until early last month. … I cannot remember the last time a premiere at the New York Philharmonic won such an enthusiastic ovation.”
New York Times, 2-03-07 [Anthony Tommasini]

“The excellent pianist Yefim Bronfman was the soloist in an appropriately mercurial performance of Mozart’s moody Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor. He deftly alternated bold dramatic gestures with elegantly intimate ruminations. Playing cadenzas he composed himself, Mr. Bronfman placed more emphasis on exploring the harmonic and contrapuntal implications of Mozart's music than on the typical display of virtuosity. “Mr. Bronfman also gave a gracious account of the substantial piano solo part in Mozart’s elaborate concert aria, ‘Ch’io mi scordi de te? . . . Non temer, amato bene,’ performed by the Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena.”
New York Times, 8-05-04

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