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Features
American Record Guide, March/April 2018 Issue
Fanfare, November/December 2017
Gramophone, June 2017
Gramophone, 2017
The Strad, February 2017
Fanfare, November/December 2016
BBC Music Magazine, September 2016
Gramophone, August 2016
Classical Music, July 2016 [PNG]
The Wall Street Journal‎, December 2014
International Piano, March 2013
San Francisco Chronicle Interview 2013
Gramophone, October 2010

November 13, 2018: Celebrating 100 years of the Cleveland Orchestra. Shai Wosner performs, Franz Schubert: Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780: Movement 4 Moderato. The Frederic Chopin Society, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
Performance Today, November 13, 2018
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"Israeli-born pianist Shai Wosner joined the Emerson for the first half of the concert. This Mozart piano quartet, the second of two, gives all four players a chance to shine, which they certainly did. Mr. Wosner's clean articulation of rapid runs, unblurred by the pedal, was a delight to hear. ... [In Bolcom's Quintet No. 1] Mr. Wosner handled the fiendishly difficult piano part with finesse, and cellist Paul Watkins could be seen smiling from time to time."
Broadway World, October 26, 2018
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"Wosner’s touch led the way, sitting at a precise and ideal spot where his superb articulation met the sonic possibilities of the modern piano, a virtual definition of “sparkling.”"
New York Classical Review, October 22, 2018
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"The quartet will be joined by Shai Wosner on piano while in Athens. “I’ve never been to Athens before, I hear wonderful things about the [Chamber Music] series,” Wosner said. “For me it will be a first time, so I’m always excited to meet new audiences and new venues and ... new pianos."
WUGA, October 22, 2018
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"In chamber music, I would say there is a very intimate connection that you have with the artist, in a way that you don’t have if you go to an arena for a rock concert,” Wosner said.
THE RED & BLACK, October 21, 2018
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"Joined by the acclaimed pianist Shai Wosner, the Quartet performs Bolcom's Piano Quintet No. 1. Composed in commemoration of the 80th birthday of the legendary violinist Isaac Stern, the piece was premiered in 2001 by Stern and members of the Emerson Quartet (Philip Setzer, violin, Lawrence Dutton, viola, David Finckel, cello) along with pianist Jonathan Biss at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C."
Classical Candor, October 6, 2018
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"I often try to create dialogues between pieces ... It's important to me to pick pieces that are quite well-known and put them side-by-side with pieces that are not quite as known in a way that would hopefully illuminate them in a different way, and also to create a dynamic between pieces that you might not necessarily associate."
WCNY, October 5, 2018
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"Shai Wosner is an exciting and profound musician," says [Symphoria Music Director Lawrence] Loh. "I came to know him a when we shared in an electric performance of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, and I am eager to hear what he brings to the Schumann Piano Concerto with our fine orchestra!"
syracuse.com, September 29, 2018
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"The concert will feature the Emerson String Quartet and pianist Shai Wosner performing Mozart’s Quartet in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello and William Bolcom’s Quintet No. 1 for Piano, Two Violins, Viola and Cello. The program concludes with Dvořák’s final quartet, the Quartet in G Major for Strings.”(Chicago Sun Times).
UGA Today, September 25, 2018
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"Born in Israel and a protégé of the great Emanuel Ax, Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Development Award and a champion of works ranging from Beethoven and Schubert to Ligeti and the music of today, he is praised for his “keen musical mind and deep musical soul” (NPR’s All Things Considered) and for exemplifying a “remarkable blend of the intellectual, physical, and even devilish sides of performance”(Chicago Sun Times)."
Fresno State (Blog), September 5, 2018
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"[T]his season, New Yorkers have the opportunity to experience [Shai Wosner's] passion for chamber music over several different programs, all within a short window of time this fall and winter. The music of Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) is featured most prominently, including works written for duo, trio, quartet, and quintet ensembles. Additional composers on the programs are Cécile Chaminade, Schumann, Mozart, and contemporary American composer William Bolcom, who this year celebrates his 80th birthday."
Broadway World, September 5, 2018
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"While attending a concert by pianist Shai Wosner in Nelson Music Room, Walther discovered the musician had arranged the space with the audience encircling him. “It was a very powerful performance in a very intimate space,” said Walther, Duke professor of the practice of Germanic languages and literature."
DUKE Today, August 29, 2018
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"Shai Wosner, pianist: It was the Vienna Philharmonic's historic visit to Israel. Leonard Bernstein was conducting Mahler’s 6th Symphony. I was a 12-year-old Mahler nut, sitting with the score in a state of total rapture. This was like the second coming of Gustav, if not Jesus. Naturally, I snuck backstage, to get the Mahler Messiah's autograph. I got there so fast he hadn't even come off stage yet. I was waiting anxiously when I suddenly heard a "shalom" in a deep, raspy voice from around the corner. I told Bernstein that the Mahler was amazing (which it was) and proudly handed my little pocket score for him to sign — cigarette in his mouth the whole time, of course. Amid the smoke, I tried to come up with something smart to say while he was signing, but all I could think of was, "You know, you really should quit smoking ..." I think his reply was, "Ah, well ..."
LA Times, August 27, 2018
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"Beaver, Kim, and Wosner are not a self-standing, ongoing ensemble, but their performance exceeded what one usually hears when individual players happen to intersect on a given concert night at the festival. Obviously, they had spent time practicing together, thinking seriously about this piece and working out possibilities. But we also have underlying musicianship to thank. ... [Wosner] showed a soloist’s forwardness when appropriate, but he also adapted comfortably to the ideals of ensemble-playing, minimizing the gaps inherent in how sounds are created on the piano as compared to on bowed strings, discreetly adding to the momentum through niceties of rhythmic shading."
Santa Fe New Mexican, August 24, 2018
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"Anthony McGill, principle clarinetist for the New York Philharmonic, violinist Paul Huang and pianist Shai Wosner supplied an appropriately jazzy interpretation in a witty virtuosic romp that might have made Benny Goodman a touch jealous."
Broadway World, August 7, 2018
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"Shai Wosner was a sensitive pianist who gave his partners lots of room. When it was time for Wosner to come forward, his part was precisely and tastefully executed...Pianists Wosner and Joyce Yang played in sync as if telepaths."
The San Diego Union-Tribune, August 4, 2018
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"Wosner’s numerous sensitive Schubert performances, and his highly insightful stage persona complete with nickel-framed glasses giving him that touch of an intellectual gaze, have moved critics to call on his likeness to Schubert; he has been described by Gramophone as a “Schuberterian of unfaltering authority and character,” and has performed Schubert’s last six piano sonatas on multiple programs in New York and throughout the United States and Japan."
GetClassical, July 29, 2018
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"For Wosner ... it’s the music itself that makes Beethoven worthy of such high praise. If the music wasn’t so compelling on its own, he said, listeners probably wouldn’t care about the context or the composer’s life as much.'The vast majority of his pieces are so sincere and always in search of this ultimate musical truth. You just feel that every note is set in stone, and it just has to be that way. You believe every note that he writes. It’s the most amazing thing.' –Shai Wosner, Pianist"
The Chautauquan Daily, July 21, 2018
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[Translated]: "[Wosner's playing] stood out for its clear and precise pulsation at all times (something essential when it comes to playing Mozart's music today) and for its great dose of delicacy when facing certain passages"
La Nueva España, June 2, 2018
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"Shai Wosner offers a “jam session” of diverse improvisations by composers whose keyboard mastery shines through each selection...Wosner manages both a lyrical and declamatory performance of this ambitious moment of Beethoven’s potent improvisational capacities—its only rival the opening sequence from the contemporary Choral-Fantasy, Op. 80—subjecting us to the battle between G minor and A-flat before the B-flat section in 6/8... As a Chopin interpreter, Wosner certainly fulfills his task in a clean, polished style that well captures the breezy French salon atmosphere that occasionally swells into surpassing lyricism of the Bellini bel-canto arioso. The combination of passing grace notes and tempo rubato proves alluring."
AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, May 15, 2018
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"Mr. Wosner’s playing exemplified the more joyous elements of these sonatas while making Schubert’s link to Beethoven explicit... [Wosner] gave beautifully rendered straightforward accounts. It was wonderful hearing this nearly symphonic works in such an intimate space – really how Schubert’s music would have been presented in his own time...Mr. Wosner pulled me into Schubert’s world, which is both much more ethereal and human. A place where the listener can drift."
Oberon's Grove, May 12, 2018
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"One of the salient features of all of [Wosner's] interpretations [of Schubert] is masterful playing with silence. If I were to pick just one of Wosner’s most important characteristics as a player it would be this. He deftly avoids the trap so many pianists (and not only pianists) fall into by slowing down the pace when it strips the music of tension and drama...Other features which I greatly admire in Shai Wosner’s playing are his sense of rhythm and use of the left hand. He is one of those rare pianists I don’t classify as right-handed. He clearly listens to the harmony and knows the importance of the left hand in marking out the bass line."
ConcertoNet, April 30, 2018
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"The first time I heard Mr. Wosner play, at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 2013, I had something of an out-of-body sensation of my own. Then, too, he played mostly Schubert, and, to my unreliable eyesight, utterly looked the part, with his fine-rimmed glasses and curly hair (though Schubert was by all accounts shorter and pudgier). Just as Mr. Wosner had when he was a child, I could almost convince myself that I had gone back in time, to some 19th-century salon, observing the composer himself. And the authority and proprietary command of Mr. Wosner’s playing only enhanced the illusion."
New York Times, April 12, 2018
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"It is a work where occasional shadows are cast on the blazing primary colours of A major, and Aurora and Wosner did much to draw out these tonal and dynamic nuances.... This was a performance that buzzed with nervous energy and luminous lyricism."
Bachtrack, February 12, 2018
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"Bringing back István Várdai for the Jan. 21 Los Alamos Concert Association's cello concert with pianist Shai Wosner provided the audience with a thrilling afternoon. Their choice of works gave us the opportunity to hear wonderful compostitions that are rarely heard."
Los Alamos Daily Post, January 30, 2018
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"An interesting piano duo recital by Shai Wosner and Orion Weiss in a piano duo recital, featuring two recent works by David Lang, Gravity and After Gravity."
Washington Classical Review, January 30, 2018
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"Wosner is a superb pianist, who plays without any mooning or showboating, only tightly focused concentration. He eschews my most hated Schubert affect, that of pulling back the tempo when the music goes into remote keys, and in the opening movement of the D. 894 sonata, he counted carefully during the long notes, the languid rhythms retaining their shape and momentum. The whirlwind triplets in the first movement of the D. 850 sonata, and the rapid double thirds in the D. 894 finale were impeccable."
The Washington Post, January 29, 2018
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"As his fingers began to slide and glide on the piano, I slowly fell into a reverie. Wosner’s renditions of Schubert’s piano sonatas are consecutively violent and delicate, loud and soft, and exaggerate both aspects. The fingers came down hard on the keys, and the pianist’s body mirrored the aggression of the louder parts. These powerful and passionate sections often took us by surprise, as a result of Wosner’s deliberate decision to enhance the contrast. Wosner was at his best, however, when the piece got softer, subtler, faster. Then his fingers would glide and upon closing your eyes you really would be transported to the fantastic, the ethereal. Then the piano would sing, and you could dance."
The Middlebury Campus, January 17, 2018
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"Putting aside the contemporary for a moment, the afternoon showcased early Beethoven, much of it on the scale and style of Mozart. Koh and Wosner performed beautifully together, offering a lean sound that was often consoling and always lovely."
Times Union, January 15, 2018
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"Israeli-American pianist Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry and creative insight. In addition to his frequent solo appearances with orchestras here and abroad he is widely sought after by colleagues for his versatility and collaborative spirit."
Los Alamos Daily Post, January 7, 2018
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"Wosner’s concert program will include opuses 42, 51 and 78, the “Fantasie.” These late sonatas are not only the culmination of Schubert’s piano works, but also some of the most profound essays in all of music... Known as an interpreter of the works of Franz Schubert, Wosner will treat audiences to an all-Schubert program at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12."
Rutland Herald, January 6, 2018
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"Born in Israel and educated at Juilliard, pianist Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition. Known as an interpreter of the works of Franz Schubert, Wosner will treat audiences to an all-Schubert program at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12. Wosner’s concert program will include opuses 42, 51 and 78, the “Fantasie.” These late sonatas are not only the culmination of Schubert’s piano works, but also some of the most profound essays in all of music. “We have certainly heard late Schubert sonatas performed before on the Robison stage,” Coyne Carroll, series director, said, “but the works are often a revelation in the hands of a different pianist, especially one as exceptional and insightful as Shai.” “The pianist Shai Wosner again proves himself a fine Schubertian with a gorgeously phrased and soulful interpretation,” reported The New York Times."
Rutland Herald, December 30, 2017
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"Cellist Antonio Lysy and fortepianist Tom Beghin try to capture real Beethoven" Kirshbaum’s set, with pianist Shai Wosner, is the ideal of modern Beethoven. Beautifully recorded, it boasts Beethoven as we imagine him today. Cello and piano are perfectly balanced. Both musicians have big, involving tones that pick every Beethovenian nuance. The performances are straightforward to the point of being all Beethoven, all the time. How in the world could the Grammys have missed this one in its recent chamber music nominations?"
LA Times, December 18, 2017
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"Princeton Symphony Orchestra will present an all-Mozart program Nov. 12 at Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus. The concert will feature pianist Shai Wosner performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12, K. 414... [Wosner] says the 12th concerto is one of the first Mozart wrote for himself to perform after moving to Vienna. “[It’s] one in a string of concerto masterpieces that would cement his place in music history..."
Timeoff Entertainment (centraljersey.com), Novemebr 3, 2017
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"Shai Wosner is an award-winning pianist who has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. His performances of a broad range of repertoire—from Beethoven and Schubert to Ligeti and the music of today—reflect a degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has made him a favorite among audiences and critics, who note his “keen musical mind and deep musical soul” (NPR’s All Things Considered). This season he launches a new recital series, Schubert: The Great Sonatas, and he is performing works from his latest solo recording, Impromptu (Onyx Classics)."
NEW JERSEY Stage, October 23, 2017
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Shai Wosner Performs Impromptus Recital on 10/14 to Launch Peoples' Symphony Concerts Season
"Throughout his career, Mr. Wosner has explored subtle connections between works of contrasting styles and time periods, and this recital features an eclectic program of improvisationally inspired works by an unlikely grouping of composers."
BWW News Desk, September 6, 2017
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"Wosner’s trills were marvelously executed, every single note articulated in precise rhythm. However, these were no gears purring away, but rather a clockwork bird’s song magically imbued with life. The variations gave Wosner the opportunity to display a gorgeous cantabile tone, a fine partner to Koh’s silky caress of the theme."
San Diego Union-Tribune, August 17, 2017
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"Pianist Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition for his insightful performances and recordings of a broad repertoire -- from Beethoven and Schubert to the music of today. In his latest release “Impromptu,” Shai pairs works by seven different composers focusing on the theme of improvisation...I recently had an enlightening discussion with Shai about the works on this recording. I hope you enjoy these excerpts!"
Community Idea Stations, WCVE, July 14, 2017
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"His most recent album uses Franz Schubert’s second set of Impromptus and three similar works by Frédéric Chopin as the basis for an imaginative program in which he stitches together a group of seemingly unconnected pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven, George Gershwin, and Charles Ives... Shai Wosner joined Chris Johnson last week on Rideshare for a conversation about his latest album 'Impromptu.'"
KMFA.ORG, July 12, 2017
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"All are played with a combination of brilliance and focused personality, where rubato is distinctive but never overdone, and where you feel the pianist has truly entered the zone of each piece...Wosner relishes the moment, as he does in rewarding and relatively unfamiliar pieces by Dvořák, Gershwin and Liszt. Excellent sound serves as icing on a significantly nourishing cake."
Classical Ear, July 5, 2017
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"Improvising, says Shai Wosner implies a state of mind: its results are informal though not necessarily formless, a quality exemplified by impromptus despite their being fully written-out...And if Wosner's magic touch creates a unity out of these very disparate works, it's slightly at the expense of their character, as the brief storms which intermittently blow up are not allowed to distort the serene onward momentum. No matter: this CD is bewitching."
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, July 2017
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"A conversation with Shai Wosner"
What would happen if we get together Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt, Dvorak, Gershwin, and Ives for a posthumous jam session?...That's the question posed by pianist Shai Wosner with his latest recording "Impromptu," our Recording of the Week. Mr. Wosner spoke with WCLV's Angela Mitchell from a studio in New York.
WCLV IDEASTREAM, June 29, 2017
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"What would happen if we get together Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt, Dvorak, Gershwin, and Ives for a posthumous jam session?". Such a concept forms the root of this program of (mostly) impromptus. That it all works is a testament to both the quality of the music and the excellence of the playing."
American Record Guide, July/August 2017
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"The young soloist, Shai Wosner, sat alone at the Steinway grand piano on the stage of the quaint auditorium of Jerusalem’s YMCA communing with Schubert and his music as we, the audience, listened in rapt attention to his phenomenal and sensitive playing. Schubert’s last six sonatas constitute the summation of his approach to music and the world, expressing raw emotion and deep philosophical thinking, as well as intimacy and far-sightedness, and all this enclosed in tuneful melodies that take the listener to heights of rapture and depths of sorrow."
From Dorothea's Desktop, June 2, 2017
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"The set of impromptus assembled for this disc by pianist Shai Wosner is delightful. Nineteenth and 20th century composers sit comfortably side by side, in no small part due to Wosner’s masterful playing. He is commanding but also relaxed enough to embody the spirit of improvisation that links these compositions. The sequencing of pieces leads to unexpected juxtapositions, with the final trio as an excellent illustration. The unexpected success of having a Charles Ives improvisation serve as the bridge between impromptus by Chopin and Schubert is a testament to Wosner’s imagination and insight as a performer."
Colorado Public Radio, June 1, 2017
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"Overall it’s this intimacy which makes for such a convincing argument that these impromptus could originally have been improvisations. Wosner makes them powerfully introspective and somewhat mystical. His playing is subtly hesitant and exploratory, creating the feeling that he’s never been here before, that this is in fact the moment of birth."
The Wholenote, May 30, 2017
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"Spivey Hall’s Steinway & Sons concert grand piano, “Clara,” is making its international debut through the recent commercially released album Impromptu. Israeli-born pianist Shai Wosner recorded a mix of classical pieces from Dvorak, Chopin, Beethoven and Gershwin during recording sessions at Spivey Hall in May 2016...Wosner was particularly taken by the sound he could create with “Clara” in the Hall’s super acoustics, Dixon says...“We're delighted by the increasing interest of classical musicians to record in Spivey Hall, and hope to welcome more artists and companies to make recordings in Spivey Hall in our coming seasons,” he added."
CLAYTON STATE UNIVERSITY (Blog), May 30, 2017
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"Shai Wosner isn’t just a pianist of agility and insight, though obviously that’s nothing to sneeze at. But he has also embarked on a series of witty and engagingly structured recording projects that draw intriguing connections among various slices of the keyboard repertoire. Fresh on the heels of his exploration of the comic angles of Haydn and Ligeti comes “Impromptu,” a baker’s dozen of quasi-improvisatory pieces dispatched with Wosner’s characteristic combination of dexterity and interpretive subtlety."
The San Francisco Chronicle, May 24, 2017
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"Wosner’s abandonment of the still prevalent lexigraphic programming practices of so many classical recordings is laudable. It demonstrates that, along with fresh perspectives, unusual juxtapositions, effected with intelligence and taste, may yield a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Don’t miss this satisfying listen!"
Gramophone, June 2017
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"The imagination, humour and whimsy of both composers make them happy companions in the sparkling musicianship of Shai Wosner and Nicholas Collon...Wosner’s notes describe these composers’ use of humour as ‘like two distant relatives sharing an old family joke’."
Classical-music.com, May 15, 2017
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"The soloist, Shai Wosner, tripped through its pleasures fluently enough, with blissfully clear and bouncy accompaniment from a string quartet rather than Mozart’s original band of strings and winds. Yet memory of the concerto faded the moment Wosner tumbled into Ligeti’s vortex of jagged fortissimos, crazed polyrhythms and flying melodic debris, laid out before him in a crinkly, giant-sized score."
THE TIMES, May 10, 2017
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"For most pianists, playing the Ligeti Piano Concerto would be enough exertion for one night, to be followed by a stiff drink and some down time. Not for the tireless Shai Wosner at Kings Place last night. By the time the Ligeti came along, not only had he already played a Mozart concerto, he then went on to appear in every remaining item in the programme. It was exhausting just to watch – but also exhilarating."
THE ARTS DESK, May 6, 2017
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"Performed by cellist Ralph Kirshbaum and pianist Shai Wosner, the recording was BBC Music Magazine Chamber Choice in the April Issue. 'These remarkable accounts are sometimes like listening to two people excitedly bouncing ideas off each other,' writes Stephen Johnson."
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, April 25, 2017
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"Shai Wosner has received accolades for his Schubert. Taking all four impromptus together, I can see why. He has a sure command of the flow of these pieces, an immaculate tone favoring the quiet, and an articulation that is in a class by itself. He takes great relish in the locked-hands staccatos and, in general, likes sharp edges and velocity."
AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, April 20, 2017
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"This spring, pianist Shai Wosner's latest solo album, Impromptu, is released on Onyx Classics. The recording, which features improvisationally inspired works by seven different composers, marks Mr. Wosner's fourth solo recital recording for Onyx and his sixth recording for the label overall."
BROADWAY WORLD, April 19, 2017
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"The technically superlative Wosner’s intelligent playing made for an engaging pair with Koh."
art blog, March 30, 2017
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"Guest pianist Shai Wosner played less of a role here than in a traditional concerto, but watching him still revealed plenty of moments. The third movement found him playing dry chords with the left hand and dainty, staccato notes with the right, such that it seemed like two pianos. Wosner meshed well with the others in creating color, especially with the xylophone at the end."
THE FLORIDA UNION TIMES, March 4, 2017
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"Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. His performances of a broad range of repertoire — from Beethoven and Schubert to Ligeti and the music of today — reflect a degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has made him a favorite among audiences and critics, who note his 'keen musical mind and deep musical soul'"
KUDOS AZ, February 27, 2017
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"But what is sometimes obscured is an underlying sense of journeying that comes from a regular pulse; Shai Wosner's recent account (Onyx, 1/15) is impressive in this regard... And in the peace-shattering outburst, Douglas doesn't reach the same degree of intensity as Wosner."
Gramophone, March, 2017

"Pianist Wosner is an artist who, like all the finest, embodies equal parts head and heart. His opening solo episode in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 467 was a sparkling display of flawless technique that shimmered with the nuance of moonlight on a rippling lake."
The Columbus Dispatch, February 18, 2017
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According to Wosner, Mozart wrote piano concertos during lulls in his opera career. ". . . (Operas were) the kind of stuff he wanted to do because it was more lucrative and also fit his style dramatically," Wosner said. "Yet, in periods where theaters were closed because of religious reasons around the holidays, he had to come up with an alternative source of income." The result was a set of pieces, Wosner said, "that perfected the piano-concerto genre."
The Columbus Dispatch, February 16, 2017
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"The two Beethoven Sonatas surrounding the Bridgetower Fantasy were played exquisitely by both artists. Wosner's fleet fingers were undaunted by the passagework in either Op. 12 or Op. 47, and his effort to keep the massive sound of the wide-open 9-foot Steinway under control in the dense accompaniment of the later piece was heroically successful."
MASS LIVE, February 5, 2017
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"Wosner injected a furious momentum into the wave-like arpeggios at the start, and played with a thoughtful and sensitive touch during the adagio."
FEAST OF MUSIC, January 20, 2017
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"It’s worth taking time to listen to Beethoven’s five Cello Sonatas in a single sitting, an opportunity this double-CD set by cellist Ralph Kirshbaum and pianist Shai Wosner offers. The playing is probing yet unaffected, thoughtful yet delivered with a simplicity that lets Beethoven’s lyrical succinctness shine through the maelstrom of emotions that flavour the sonatas’ expressive twists and turns. Kirshbaum brings effortless maturity to all these works, supported by the poetic solidity of Wosner’s pianism."
THE SCOTSMAN, January 10, 2017
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"Wosner is an imaginative and often inventive interpreter (he signaled a vein of irreverence right out of the gate by rolling the concerto’s opening chord), and his playing moved with forceful assurance through the finale."
San Francisco Chronicle, December 9, 2016
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"The Israeli pianist Shai Wosner brings his fierce wit and improvisatory spirit to this unusual pairing of Haydn and Ligeti capriccios and concertos. Matched by the equally dexterous playing of Nicholas Collon and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, this record has consistently amused and gratified our staff since it was released in June. Those daunted by the connotation of Ligeti with Kubrick’s psychedelic rendering of space-time may find his playful Piano Concerto a more welcoming introduction."
WQXR, December 1, 2016
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"Wosner is first and foremost an excellent pianist and exceptional musician. By that I mean he offers his own view of even well-known works of music (such as Schubert Piano Sonatas) and presents them in a sometimes provocative yet credible manner... I had a feeling – as I do sometimes when witnessing superb music-making – that I was being led by an excellent and enthusiastic guide who would not only describe to me a picture or sculpture, but would also reveal the hidden details, which otherwise would escape my notice."
concertonet.com, October 15, 2016
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"Wosner and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas Collon execute impeccably and with absolutely all the waggishness and spunk and elegance that is required."
Forbes, September 28, 2016
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"It’s the intelligence, perception and dazzling energy of Wosner’s playing that makes all this possible and vivid. A Barenboim protégé, he responds to every twist and turn with a sense of great immediacy as well as an airy, high-stepping poise and unerring pointing-up of Ligeti’s deliciously unpredictable rhythms."
BBC Music Magazine, September Issue, 2016
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"Wosner's performance of Ligeti's Piano Concerto is a wowzer. You ideally need two brains and three hands to play this piece well. Wosner makes it sound easy, the rattling cross rhythms effortless, the sheer musicality drawing you in. Ligeti's spooky second movement contains one of his blackest jokes. Which I won't spoil for those who haven't experienced it, apart from recommending that you crank the volume up and lower the lights."
theartsdesk.com, July 16, 2016
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Pianist Shai Wosner has gained international recognition for his creative insight and broad range of repertoire, ranging from Beethoven and Mozart to Schoenberg and Ligeti. I recently had the chance to talk with him about his new recording (released June 3), which pairs concertos and solo pieces by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and György Ligeti (1923-2006). He is joined on the recording by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, lead by conductor Nicholas Collon.

Take a listen as Shai discusses the challenges of tying together compositions from different centuries, as well as his affinity for the music of Franz Schubert.
Interview with Mike Goldberg (WCVE), June 9, 2016
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"Wosner emphasizes the music’s elegance, recalling the concerto’s Mozartean roots. ...The Jacksonville Symphony provides most of the muscle and Wosner most of the grace. The faux fugue entry of the rondo theme in the strings was a little fuzzy while Wosner’s crystal-like runs are striking. This is great Beethoven playing."
Jacksonville.com, April 23, 2016
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“[Wosner’s] account of the Sonata is magnificent. He responds intensely to the poetry and terror of this extraordinary work, which he allows to speak with all its hesitations, false steps and crazy outbursts.”
BBC Music Magazine, March 2015

“Under Wosner’s impeccable fingers at the command of a supremely musical mind, one can take a classical journey down a road less traveled, without ever wishing for what we are not getting.”
Madison Magazine, Classically Speaking, February 23, 2015
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“Wosner's straightforward playing dispelled any misgivings: He played without anachronistic exaggerations, and with exemplary clarity and precision.”

“Wosner has been winning particular acclaim lately for his performances of Schubert. His encore was a short, late piece by Schubert called ‘Hungarian Melody.’ Wosner caressed his instrument with the most tender and subtle nuancing, demonstrating his integrity in distinguishing between the very different stylistic worlds of Haydn and Schubert. This was a standout case of a concert encore presented with delicacy and truly moving beauty.”
Isthmus, February 21, 2015
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"[The sonata theme quoted in Isabelle Eberhardt] set a tone of concentrated listening that Mr. Wosner sustained beautifully throughout the sonata itself."

"Mr. Wosner’s … achievements [were] transcendent."
The New York Times, January 30, 2015
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“Wosner’s interpretations draw you ineluctably into his own vision … Slightly steadier than the songful Lupu, [Wosner] nevertheless proves himself a Schubertian of real stature.”
Gramophone, January 2015, p. 59

“The pianist Shai Wosner again proves himself a fine Schubertian with a gorgeously phrased and soulful interpretation of the ‘Moments Musicaux’ (D. 780) that traverses the full palette of intimacy and power. He brings similarly vivid contrasts to his elegant, wholly satisfying performance of Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 20 in A (D. 959), enhanced by his beautifully warm touch.”
The New York Times, January 7, 2015
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“Proven Schubert exponent Shai Wosner extends his credentials in the composer’s intimate and expansive keyboard works.”
Audiophile Audition, December 29, 2014
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“Touch is everything in Schubert. All it takes is the opening phrase of the slightest of his piano pieces to separate the general run of pianists from the truly outstanding. This release from Shai Wosner places the New York-based Israeli pianist indisputably in the second category.”

“Hard to remember when a pianist on record last gave Schubert such personal expression.”
Sinfini Music, December 15, 2014
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“Shai Wosner displayed a glowing touch and spacious phrasing at the piano.”
New York Classical Review, October 22, 2014
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"With the equally impressive Wosner, the ensemble put together a fantastic performance of the piece, full of great dynamic contrast, precision, and tasteful variation in timing and mood, never letting the piece grow dull in repeats"

"Wosner was likewise stunning in the gentler sections, displaying a lovely touch that echoed the candlelight in the room."
Zumic, August 7, 2014
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"In the radiant second movement, they allowed the sound to open up, with Mr. Frost producing a velvet, plush tone over Mr. Wosner’s soft-pawed accompaniment."
The New York Times, August 5, 2014
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"Wosner showed us a gorgeous variety of subtly nuanced touches and timbres in this movement and his articulation was superb."
Seen and Heard International, June 30, 2014
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Shai Wosner was "impressive in an elegant, polished performance of the [Mozart No. 20] concerto."

"Wosner’s playing sounded effortless, and his approach so convincing it seemed inevitable."
The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 22, 2014
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"Wosner gave full voice to the Schubertian world - in particular his elastic sense of time, in which simple musical ideas can balloon to take up vast spaces without losing their identity."

He performed with a "practically flawless balance of clarity and urgency, revealing all the emotional heft that lurks within the music's limpid harmonies."
San Francisco Chronicle, November 20, 2013
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"Pianist Shai Wosner will be bringing a concert of music by (and inspired by) Franz Schubert to Cal Performances this Sunday afternoon. Wosner says he's fascinated by the composer's sense of time, and the way he was able to achieve both intimacy and depth in his works."
Classical KDFC, November 2013
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"The Consolations of a Schubert Sonata Surplus"
The New York Times Arts Beat blog, July 31, 2013
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“[Wosner] plays with lively and wise musicality and achieved a very clean sound on the Steinway piano. Wosner has commanding solo presence but accompanies uncommonly well too. In the slow movement [of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 15] he gave arresting contours to a swirling accompaniment figure, balancing perfectly when he accompanied the strings, had the melody in his right hand in chords, and was accompanying the winds in the tune while the strings played pizzicato.”
Pittsburgh Tribune, March 2013
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“Wosner…is a highly intelligent player in his prime…His feel for keyboard color and voicing is wonderful. The immense dynamic range he displayed in Debussy’s La Cathedrale engloutie” and the sharply etched virtuosity of “Mouvement” (from Debussy’s “Images”) and in two of Beethoven’s Op. 33 Bagatelles will remain in the memory for some time.”
The Washington Post, December 2012
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“In Schubert, Mr. Wosner is not afraid to employ an enormous dynamic range. His pianissimos are uncommonly delicate and beautiful. But when the music moves him, his fortissimos can be steely and terrifying.”
The New York Times, August 2012
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“Wosner brings an uncommonly thoughtful style to this recital of Schubert works that, he point out in well-written liner notes, had their origins in the composer’s rare forays away from his hometown of Vienna. Wosner combines great sound with an incisive grasp of musical architecture in pillars of the Schubert piano repertoire…”
Tampa Bay Times, May 13, 2012
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 “The Six German Dances and Hungarian Melody…are simply delightful: lilting, energetic, and with a sense of intimacy.”
International Piano, January/February 2012

“Wosner voices his own formidably assured and trenchant voice. Whether fiercely energized in the first movement’s propulsion, keeping everything smartly on the move in the second movement…or locating every subtlety beneath the finale’s outwardly innocent sing-a-song-of-sixpence surface, Wosner rivets your attention at every point.”
Gramophone, January 2012
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“…this new [Schubert CD] puts him straight into the front rank of the Schubertians…this music comes across as absolutely freshly conceived as do his evocative liner notes…

“His playing of the German Dances has muscularity and a lovely transparency, while the Hungarian Melody has exquisite songfulness. But what strikes the listener from the first few bars of the Sonata which opens this recording…is the aristocratic grace of Wosner’s tone, and his expressive shades of staccato.”
BBC Music Magazine, December 2011
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“Then Wosner and the orchestra offered a version of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto that was disarmingly intimate. The pianist portrayed the composer as a divided soul, prone to whispers one moment, rumbles of thunder the next, outrage and calm acceptance squeezed beside one another.”
Saint Paul Pioneer Press, May 2011
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“Brahms’ Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel…is a showcase for Wosner’s variety of touch at the keyboard, and for the different musical worlds he creates. It’s more than touch, of course, that makes Wosner so impressive. ”
NPR All Things Considered, December 2010
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This is pianism of the very highest order, involving and full-blooded, with such burnished passion from Wosner that it is a surprise that these are not live performances…In short, a fascinating disc: this is a pianist to watch.
International Piano, November/December 2010
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"This is an inventively conceived and impressive recording.”
The New York Times, October 2010
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"Mr. Wosner gave a lively and sensitive account of the demanding Schubert sonata... Though he took a brisk tempo, his playing was lithe and articulate. The breathless energy of his conception was captivating... The second movement is marked Con Moto (With Motion), and Mr. Wosner played it that way: though he was always sensitive to passages of harmonic and expressive intensity, his ambling pace never allowed the poignancy to take over. He deftly dispatched the feisty scherzo and ended with a supple account of the dancing rondo, played with impressive lightness and clarity."
The New York Times, September 2010
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"In the first movement's big piano solo [Concerto No. 22 K. 482] - meant by Mozart to be improvised by the pianist - guest soloist Shai Wosner slipped in a bit of Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro." Maybe there was some power of suggestion in that, because the whole performance had a tinge of the theater's liveliness. It came through in the first movement's ring and vitality, the second movement's brooding lyricism and the finale's dash. Wosner filled the piano part with light and shade that made everything vivid."
Steven Brown, The Charlotte Observer, March 2010

"In his overdue CSO subscription debut, Wosner showed a remarkable blend of the intellectual, physical and even devilish sides of performance that could lead to great accomplishment. Complexity clearly attracts him, but so does its translation into apparent ease in performing. The ingredients that were in the young Rudolf Serkin are all here. Let's hear him more."
Chicago Sun-Times, February 2010
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"Mozart's poised ambiguity was from another world... the changing moods of the second movement Romance, with added decoration by the soloist, were eloquently sustained, and Wosner's own final movement cadenza was lively and intelligent."
The Guardian, August 2009
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"The pianist Shai Wosner was introduced to the Prommers in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor. Runnicles set a nicely edgy pace for his slimmed down band, nudging every nerve of Mozart's uneasy and unsettled opening. Wosner picked up the inner tension, playing as a miniaturist and with a silvery clarity."
The Times (London), August 2009

"Runnicles brought out the operatic menace as well as the ineffable sadness [of Mozart's D Minor Concerto K. 466], while soloist Shai Wosner, at the beginning of his career, showed that he is already his own man in terms of phrasing, emphasis and occasional decoration."
The Evening Standard (London), August 2009

“Wosner proved the star of the evening as solo protagonist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21…Wosner's quicksilver articulation was a pleasure throughout, and he brought a youthful vivacity perfectly suited to this most joyous of Mozart keyboard concertos. In the famous Andante, Wosner's poise and refinement were on the same level as the [Cleveland Orchestra]'s tonal elegance, which is saying a lot.  The soloist also brought a subtle, slightly quirky element with some steep dynamic drops and hair-trigger color changes. Likewise his own pseudo-Rococo cadenzas stayed within Classical parameters -- just -- while adding a smart, subversive quality to his witty, delightful performance.”
Miami Herald, March 2008

“The unassuming pianist gave a winning performance of the monster hit [Grieg Piano Concerto], with each movement more engaging than the one before. He offered tasteful drama in the thundering first-movement cadenza, understated lyricism in the slow movement and nimbly dancing runs in the finale.”
The Salt Lake Tribune, February 2008
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“…nimble technique and dry wit… His mastery of Chopin’s passagework was flawless, and he lavished plenty of elegance on the score’s less glittery sections… A return visit is clearly in order.”
The San Francisco Chronicle, February 2005
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“…many musical works flourish better when players forget the flash and approach them with plain-spoken, intelligent ideas, as pianist Shai Wosner so satisfyingly did… His lively playing made the outer movements sparkle—crisp articulation and hints of rhythmic swagger created delightful vitality…”
The Houston Chronicle, June 2004

“…[Wosner] chose an ambitious and well-conceived program… The Bach was delivered crisply, and with a brisk propulsive energy…The Schoenberg also had an impressive sweep as well as a vivid vocabulary of gestures…”
The New York Times, February 2004
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