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24.1.11

Sofya Gulyak

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Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Pianist Sofya Gulyak
Washington Post, January 24, 2011
The Washington Performing Arts Society brought Sofya Gulyak back to Washington for a recital on Saturday afternoon in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. After the Russian pianist's dramatic win at the William Kapell International Piano Competition in 2007, she went on to become the first woman to win the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2009. Strangely, for a competition regular to play a program centered on romantic music, this was a performance that seemed curiously restrained.

In Schubert's "Three Piano Pieces," D. 946, Gulyak went for poetry by narrowing the tone of her right hand to a sometimes spidery thinness, without making her left hand transparent enough to complement it. Even in the moody middle piece, this reticence seemed to chop up the melody, preventing a smooth legato from spinning out. The results were disappointingly similar in Chopin's Second Sonata, where a reserved quality made technically challenging passages exciting without the thrilling feel of being pushed to the edge of safety. [Continue reading]
Sofya Gulyak, piano
Washington Performing Arts Society
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Other reviews:
Kapell Competition (2007)

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