*J.S. Bach Concerto No.1 in A minor

 “It was superb violinist Linda Wang who stole the evening with a splendidly breathtaking performance of Bach’s first Violin Concerto in A Minor… Wang maintained her spell throughout the concerto, even lending the trickily repetitive slow movement with a palpable tension” 

*J.S. Bach Concerto No. 2 in E Major

“Gave a particularly remarkable performance ... capturing the joy of the music with clear musical authority.”

*J.S. Bach Concerto for two violins

“The Bach Concerto for Two Violins had a youthful, springy step… the most movingly innocent moment of the evening.”

*Samuel Barber Concerto in D Major

 “Requires not only technical competence but a real knowledge of how an orchestra works. Her dialogues with strings, oboe and clarinet were touching and precise...Wang’s tone is wonderfully sweet and full, the envy of many an aged violinist.” 

*Ludwig van Beethoven Concerto in D Major

“With a never-ending applause and standing ovation, Linda Wang, the American-born violinist, performed as soloist…what Linda Wang made of it, was top class and a treat for the ears. With her violin, she played not only in harmony with the orchestra, but also completely in command on the stage. She revealed the sounds of her Guadagnini violin softly with spirit and full of vigor, quickly and then again slowly and so sensitively. The audience was completely bewitched in the end. The standing ovation was clear sign of a unique performance that the audience could have listened to for hours."

*Johannes Brahms Concerto in D Major

“Wang’s performance of Brahms Violin Concerto was pure gold…masterful technique ... Her hands were deft and sure, her bowing a technical marvel her fingering fluid and accurate. Wang’s upper register was especially clear and clean, a rich pleasure to hear. She was, as well, attuned to the concerto’s emotional register ... there was yearning, there was a sigh mellowing into resignation ... She was a picture of concentration and poise, a young performer of prodigious talent.” 

*Johannes Brahms Concerto in D Major

“The highlight of the evening was Linda Wang/USA, first prize winner in the violin category... she was focused on the performance in the truest sense of the word. Her sovereign solo parts were convincing and persuasive, her singing jubilant tone enthused...a masterful performance.” 

*Johannes Brahms Concerto in D Major

 “With her performance and great talent, she was able to capture the audience, which is necessary to win first prize at such an international competition.”  

*Johannes Brahms Concerto in D Major

“Her playing was marked by brilliance, discipline, clarity and above all by remarkable musicianship with Linda Wang’s inspired violin, so beautifully performed.” 

*Johannes Brahms Concerto in A minor for violin and cello

“The piece de resistance of the evening was the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello …They exuded confidence and were set to have fun. Playing from memory added immeasurably to their evening’s accomplishment and noticeable rapport with one another…impressive talents…perfect end to another bowl season.” 

*Max Bruch Concerto in G minor

“Virginia Symphony tops season with Bernstein, Diamond, Wang”
Wang’s tome was rich and full, capable of being reduced to a mere thread, yet never losing its solid core. …Melodic lines were seamless, giving Bruch’s music a breadth that added greatly to its effect…Wang played John William’s theme from Shindler’s List as an encore, again impressing with her phrasing and sheer loveliness of sound.” 

*Max Bruch Concerto in G minor

“The highlight of the evening was the performance of soloist Linda Wang. (Bruch Violin Concerto) showcased Wang’s incredible technical skill, her intensity, focus and unwavering control…Wang held the audience spellbound with her sure phrasing and pure tone, especially in the upper register. But for all her technical skill, showcased in the first movement, the adagio was the standout because of its melodic quality and the emotional warmth that Wang so effortlessly conveyed. The finale allegro energico … brought the audience to its feet in spontaneous applause.”

*Leonard Bernstein Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”)

“The interchange between Linda Wang and the PPO was exhilarating, with Wang’s impeccable technique and expressive interpretation and the PPO’s rhythmic drive under Castillo’s baton so unbelievably impressive!” 

*Leonard Bernstein
Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”)

“She matched the demanding composition with brilliant technique and acute sensitivity….To the thunderous accolade, she responded with an unaccompanied moto perpetuo that conveyed fire and fantastic virtuosity.” 

*Antonin Dvorak Concerto in A minor

  “Violinist Wang triumphs in Dvorak Concerto" the crowd came to see Wang, a world renowned violinist, tackling Dvorak's Violin Concerto. Wang, known for her exceptional technique, didn't disappoint the audience with her interpretation of one of the 19th-century's seminal works for violin. Her fingering in the upper register during the rousing first movement was graceful, and she transitioned smoothly to the emotionally subdued and soothing second movement."

*He/Chen Butterfly Lovers Concerto

 “Ms. Wang’s performance of this piece was absolutely masterful, and through her artistic ability to change tone and bowing techniques in a most subtle way, she was able to bring out the composers’ intention that a repetition of the melody can be used to demonstrate at least two different moods, and thus describe different points of the young lover’s lives…Wang never seemed to be working hard, and she accomplished all of the technical difficulties with remarkable aplomb and finesse” 

*He/Chen Butterfly Lovers Concerto

“A triumph for the guest soloist, violinist Linda Wang…played with such maturity and brilliance…Wang used the difference of the violin to bring out the warmth of the lovers’ feelings and the strain and weight of their tragedy."

*Felix Mendelssohn Concerto in E minor

 “The centerpiece of the concert was the impressive playing of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E-minor played by guest-artist Linda Wang…Her training and her experience was in full force as she maneuvered skillfully between the difficult passages and landing squarely in full tone in the second movement “Andante”…The audience exploded in applause and shouts at the conclusion."

*Felix Mendelssohn Concerto in E minor

“Violin virtuoso Linda Wang brought the audience to its feet with her fiery, effortless treatment of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor.”

*Maurice Ravel Tzigane
*Pablo de Sarasate Carmen Fantasy

“Guest soloist Linda Wang, a brilliant violinist for Los Angeles, delivered virtuoso performances of Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy and Ravel’s Tzigane. Wang’s pure tone, stunning technique and intensity make her a joy to watch and hear. She has an unaffected confidence that makes her performance all the more rewarding …had not heard someone of Wang’s range for a long time.”

*Serge Prokofiev Concerto No. 1
Concerto No.2 in G minor

“Composed in 1935, the concerto began with Wang’s solo violin, the orchestra soon taking up the theme… Wang’s intonation was bright and clear. The later movements proved more demanding, offering opportunities to see Wang's technique as well as her commanding stage presence. She demonstrated a complete mastery of the piece."

*Serge Prokofiev Concerto No.2 in G minor

Violinist Linda Wang and the Macon Symphony Orchestra treated the symphony’s season opening crowd to an electrifying performance of Prokofiev’s 2nd Violin Concerto ... Even a listener who starts to sweat when faced with “modern” music had to be awakened and captivated by it."

*Jean Sibelius Concerto in D minor

“Sibelius’s Violin Concerto was the highlight of another splendid evening of music. ...She demonstrated an admirable yoking of technique and musicianship. She’s both limber and level-headed, maintaining solid control of the piece while at the same time drawing out the work’s emotive qualities. She plays with little wasted effort, and such playing gave the work momentum and increased power…strong and convincing interpretation from Wang.”

*Hilary Tann Here, the Cliffs

"In terms of sheer virtuosic brilliance, not to mention another kind of eloquence, Wang was even more impressive as the soloist in Hilary Tann’s “Here, the Cliffs” (1997) which describes in one movement the composer’s impressions of standing within an amphitheater of ice-age rock formations in South Wales, where she grew up…Wang’s part was beautifully and excitingly played."

*Tommoso Vitali Ciaccona

 “The young soloist who really won the hearts of the enthusiastic audience was Linda Wang...she was a bundle of serious determination and energy.”


*Antonio Vivaldi The Four Seasons

“The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra wowed its Friday night opening concert with a virtuoso performance of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" by young violinist Linda Wang… She had a deft command of the music, delighted the audience... She seemed to enjoy herself immensely... Wang's performance was the highlight of the evening.”


*Antonio Vivaldi The Four Seasons

 “Linda Wang's performance of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" was sparkling and strong. She played all four concertos with energy…and the entire ensemble shone during the lovely, still middle movement of "Autumn" as well as the more raucous, windy finale of "Winter."


*Antonio Vivaldi The Four Seasons

"Wang delivered a suave and nuanced tone, regardless of which season she was traversing… As the seasonal calendar breezed by in a half-hour or so, one felt that some winters (musical ones, at least) can be all too brief. "


“With purest tone, stunning technique and the loveliness of unaffected confidence, Los Angeles’ own Linda Wang demonstrated...she is among the premiere young violinists of the world.”

“Linda Wang...exceptionally talented, provided a fitting conclusion to a most successful season...not only a great technique but also a high degree of confidence…The performers were flawless...”

“Linda Wang is a great musician. ...What finesse, what delicate care of phrasing[!] ... much class and a lot of refinement.”

“Her performance was characterized by musical maturity, combined with abundant temperament, personal style, and original creativity.”

 “first class violin technique with creative fantasy... Linda Wang played with wonderful mood changes, romantic impetus and an enormous expression palette.”

“Wang delighted the audience with a well chosen program and world class artistry…her dignified and respectful interpretation of the music, her passionate spirit, and her remarkably masterful technique…brought the house to its feet demanding encores.
She is among the elite of her generation of young violinists…may well be the finest violinist ever to perform in our area.”

“ evening of enchanting musical mastery...even the most difficult passages came off with such ease and emotion, one felt as if Wang was playing in a language that only the heart can truly understand...the entire audience stood in spontaneous ovation…filled the auditorium and our hearts with an evening of glorious sound…displayed her mature virtuosity with energy and spirit…the results were dynamic. It was an electrifying performance with a rating of two heartfelt encores.” 

“brilliant performance of Linda Wang… demonstrated her remarkable talents and skill…created unique musical portraits… established the emotions, the passion and the drama. The shouts of ‘bravo’ from the standing audience reverberated throughout the hall…”

 “a mature interpretive artistry…Her program provided a refreshing mix of the familiar and rarely heard…truly a top-rank musician…a great artist playing great music flawlessly on a great instrument…who could ask for anything more?”

“Linda Wang, one of the premier young violinists of the world, performed an inspiring and enlightening concert… impressive musicianship… brought the audience to its feet with a well deserved, standing ovation.”

 “World famous violinist brings musical gift…a moving performance…memorable recital of well-chosen pieces from the performer’s repertoire…wonderfully fluid and masterful playing” 

 “Anyone who dares to tackle Bach's extraordinary (and extraordinarily difficult) Chaconne and Wieniawski's amazing (and amazingly difficult) Variations on an Original Theme must clearly have the chops - which Wang possesses in abundance.Yet, it was in the transparent textures of Debussy's late G-minor Sonata and in a sweetly evocative traditional Chinese Fisherman's Song that the violinist made the strongest impression…Wang produced a feathery light tone that brought an immediacy and communicativeness to the Debussy…Wang's way with the Chaconne was impressive in technique and in pacing. Her dynamic range during those thrilling arpeggios added fresh excitement… DU is lucky to have Wang's talents as violinist and, as we discovered in the encore, pedagogue.”

 “Linda Wang illuminated the concert stage…concert goers were absolutely amazed as Wang…played flawlessly, with full exuberance, confidence, and emotion. Wang’s presentation was beautifully performed, showcasing impeccable finesse…the intricacy in musicianship overflowed, filling the evening with an incredible variety of masterfully delivered selections.”

 Every time I think I've done a roundup of oustanding Bay Area ensembles, I discover that I've omitted someone. (Several "someones," generally; this is such a music-rich environment that it becomes difficult to track them all.) The New Pacific Trio, comprising pianist Sonia Leong, violinist Linda Wang, and cellist Nina Flyer, is one that slipped in under the radar until Sunday's concert at Old First Church. The program was offbeat; the playing was marvelous.

The performance (of Saint-Saëns'Second Piano Trio) was about all one could want. Wang and Flyer are uncommonly well-matched players, Flyer with the grittier sound, Wang with a smooth but intense tone that stood up well to Flyer's, and to the lid-full-up piano too. Leong, meanwhile, played the brilliant piano part effortlessly and with a great deal of flair, though perhaps a little too much care not to cover the strings. These were players who knew when to dig in passionately and when to lighten up, and (what is rarer) did both things well.

 The Suk Elegie that followed showed the NPT in another light....Here both string players were altogether more sultry than they'd been in the Saint-Saëns, taking their cues from the rich lines and their underlying harmonies.

 After intermission came a terrific performance of the Shostakovich Second Trio, one remarkable for exaggerating in all the right places. The opening (with the cello in ferociously-difficult artificial harmonics that I don't think I've heard performed better live), was spellbinding, and Wang's duetting with Flyer had just the right note: not too obviously flesh-and-blood, but standing off a little — as it were, doing a ghost the courtesy of pretending to be one herself. The ensuing Scherzo certainly lacked neither flesh nor blood (nor guts); it's one of those brutal objects-in-six-sharps that Shostakovich favored, inexplicably relieved by a fresh, free tune that emerges a couple times and then gets clubbed into obscurity again. Then comes a passacaglia, full of densely-packed chords, but with a couple of pure triads in there just to make clear where you are in the eight-bar pattern. And then the finale with its ethnic-Jewish tunes, played Sunday with steely clarity. The NPT players couldn't exactly prevent the compositorial tying-the-threads-together at the end of the finale from sounding contrived. (Here's the passacaglia again! And here's the opening theme, only with the violin on the high notes and the cello on the low ones!) But they did make the ending somehow dignified and moving.

“New Pacific Trio debuts in a delightful program of Zwilich, Beethoven and Café music”

 Last Sunday at LACMA’s Bing Theater, we heard the New Pacific Trio, an amiable group of music professors from University of the Pacific at Stockton. Their playing, by turns intense and playful, sounded anything but academic. Even in the intricate thematic weavings of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Piano Trio, the playing was fresh and absorbing enough to hold the listener’s attention for fifteen minutes of post-Bartokian sound world.

The musicians threw themselves with equal fervor into the early Romanticism of Beethoven’s D-Major Trio. This was an immensely enjoyable account – the velvet richness of Nina Flyer’s cello, the silken beauty of Linda Wang’s 1767 Guadagnini violin, and the easy elegance of Sonia Leong’s piano. In the spectral slow movement, the weight and intensity of the strings were palpable against the agitated keyboard tremolando. Clearly, these ladies possess both glamour and brains abound.

The ragtime-inspired Café Music by Paul Schoenfield made for an exciting filler in the hour-long program. The trio of ladies literally kicked up their heels and had great fun with the music. It marked an exhilarating end for the concert, and a memorable L.A. debut for the New Pacific Trio. 

The concert was broadcast live on KMozart, 105.1FM Los Angeles, and 1510AM San Francisco.  

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