..:.. In the words of other musicians ..:..
“Sandro Russo is a musician's musician, and a pianist's pianist. There is no technical challenge too great for him, but it is his musicianship that ultimately makes the greatest impression. His interpretations reveal a unique and profound artist at work.”
- Lowell Liebermann
"I have been very grateful for Sandro Russo's interest in performing my piano music; his performances have shown great commitment, excellent attention to detail and a keen awareness of the interpretive needs of these various pieces. I hope his enjoyment of my music never ceases!"
- Marc-André Hamelin
"I have enjoyed his artistry, his dedication to high standards, commitment to style and how to produce sound and communicate the music beyond the stage. He has a striking presence and is a throwback to the grand tradition of elegant pianism and beautiful sound."
- Jeffrey Biegel
"Sandro played Liszt’s Concerto in A major brilliantly, with masterful technique and in the grand manner. He makes the piano sing and never forces the sound, even in forte. He was full up to the virtuosity of the piece and displayed a fine sense of poetry in the more lyric episodes."
- David Gilbert
..:.. Reviews ..:..
Click Here to Read Article from Pianowereld Magazine - http://sandrorussopianist.com/PianoWereld.aspx
Click Here to Read Article in the Broad Street Review - http://www.broadstreetreview.com/index.php/main/article/sandro_russos_lisztomania
Click Here for the interview in the NY Rising Star Magazine - http://sandrorussopianist.com/RisingStars.aspx
Click Here to Read Article in La Danse de Puck - Discussion on Classical Music - http://ladansedepuck.blogspot.com/search?q=sandro+russo
> Recital for the “Mostly Music Chicago,” October 2008.
…Sandro Russo served up a satisfying meal made up mostly of transcriptions. It included the world-premiere performance of Vladimir Leyetchkiss’ transcriptions of two movements from Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Suite for Two Pianos. Russo displayed all the work’s harmonic warmth in an agile and forceful performance of the Waltz and the Romance. Leyetchkiss, who was in the audience, was very delighted with Russo’s handling of the piece….His serenity and confidence made for a reading of the Feinberg Largo from the Bach Trio Sonata for Organ no. 5 that was both collected and affectionate….But Russo’s showcase moment was Liszt’s “Reminiscences de Don Juan” based on themes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Russo drew out all the heart-pounding intensity and had the floor shaking.
M.L. Rantala, “Hyde Park Herald” October 8, 2008
> Recital for the “Tiro a Segno Foundation,” NYC, March 2008.
…Pianist Sandro Russo sent the crowd wild caressing and attacking the keys – in accordance with the interpretive demands – performing Chopin, Liszt, and a contemporary work by M.A. Hamelin with a passionate vehemence and perfect aplomb. Hamelin’s magnificent Etude on Rossini’s “La Danza” evoked in the audience a desire for “Tarantella.”
“America Oggi” March 15, 2008
> Recital for the “American Liszt Society,” November 2007.
…Sandro was first introduced to the ALS community at the San Francisco ALS Festival in March 2007, where he stunned everyone with his unique and ultra-virtuosic playing. His New York performance, which presented both well-known and lesser-known works, was just as incredible.
American Liszt Society Journal, Winter/Spring 2008 Issue
> Steinway Hall Recital for the “Rachmaninoff Recreated Retreat,” NYC 2007.
Sandro Russo performed Rachmaninoff’s 2ndSonata with great panache. Clothed in elegant black attire, he deferentially announced some of his own revisions in the first and third movements. The music was executed with great polish and confidence. From my personal perspective, Mr Russo sound world incorporated a mix of lush Chopinesque subtlety, Lisztian command, and Mozartian elegance.
Charles Frederick Frantz, Ph.D (http://www.rachmaninoff.org/news/news.html)
> Amsterdam Recital at the International Rachmaninoff Conference, 2006.
After dinner came Sandro Russo. I could give a few facts about this phenomenon: a pianist of about my age, born in Italy and based in New York. I could also tell you what an elegant figure he cuts on stage, and how the music seems to possess him utterly as he plays, so that it ends up written on his face, on his every gesture. But as for the sound, the passion, the daring, well, that’s harder to convey in mere words. He began with a solo group of three works, each more concentrated than the last. His performances of the Grieg Ballade and Rachmaninoff’s Etude-tableau Op. 39 No. 5 were utterly ravishing and at times shockingly intense. But his transcendental account of Taneyev’s Prelude and Fugue simply left nothing to be said. It was unreal; you just had to be there.
Bahman Barekat, The Rachmaninoff Society Newsletter, June 2006
> Recital at Teatro Ghione in Rome, Italy.
An unusually interesting programme, and played with remarkable artistry.
An extraordinary sense of colour combined with a real technique, in the sense that he could transmit the most varied sounds as his great sense of intelligent musicality demanded.
I am sure this is just the start of a long and very interesting career and we look forward to hearing more from this very out of the ordinary artist.
Christopher Axworthy, ARAM
> London Recital for the “Rachmaninoff Society.”
There was an exceptional performance of the Corelli Variations given by the Italian pianist Sandro Russo. Mr. Russo has won top prizes in numerous international competitions and, in this performance, it was clear to all of us how this came about: a complete understanding of this remarkable Op. 42 and a near flawless technique to match. He also played Medtner’s Tale Op. 8 No. 2 and ended with some staggering piano playing, of which the Flight of the Bumblebee, in the arrangement by Gyorgy Cziffra, practically brought the house down!
Willem Scholtz, The Rachmaninoff Society Newsletter, June 2005
> Concert Review by Gayle Martin Henry, President
Last Sunday, the Italian pianist Sandro Russo played an extraordinary and varied recital presented by Connected Alliance for Music in Greenwich, Connecticut. Even in today’s world where audiences are not surprised by virtuosic feats, Russo’s ability to unravel the thorniest passages with the utmost ease and clarity is astonishing. But what truly sets him apart is his ability to find the poetry within everything he plays.
From the first elegant turned phrase of the Haydn Sonata in A-flat Major, Hob. XVI:46, to the insistent and wildly difficult octave patterns of the Alkan Symphony Opus 39, Russo showed himself to be in total command as a pianist, a musician and a poet. His sound is never harsh; his love of counterpoint is evident. His performance of the Liszt Etude “Feux Follets,” infamous for its hair-rising difficulty, was a study of breathtaking lightness and fancy. He went straight to the heart of the Nocturne No. 5, Opus 55 (1996) by Lowell Liebermann and communicated it with great and persuasive sensitivity. And I cannot imagine that I will ever hear the concert paraphrase of “The Marines’ Hymn” by Offenbach-Gimpel played with such a rollicking ease and grace, exactly capturing the pride and spirit of the song of the soldiers.
> Recital at The Union Church of Bay Ridge–Brooklyn
On Sunday afternoon, September 26, The Union Church concert series resumed with a spectacular piano recital by Sandro Russo. Mr. Russo succeeded in plumbing and realizing the various moods and compositional depths of Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme of Corelli.” He made the many introspective moments in this extended work sound fresh and spontaneous, as though they were being composed right then and there, the way the composer-pianist himself used to do. The lively Finale from the Symphony in Alkan’s twelve Etudes in the minor keys, op. 39, provided a brilliant, indeed “symphonic,” conclusion to the program’s first half. Then Mr. Russo’s impressive ability as a “tone-and mood-painter” with the pianoforte came to the fore in Liszt’s “Feux follets” (Transcendental Etude no. 5) as well as “El Puerto and Triana” from Albeniz’s Iberia. The various hues in these works dazzled the ears.
Next we heard a pair of nocturnes from 1921 to 1996. First was the gorgeous, seldom performed Nocturne in B minor (Op. 119, no. 13) by Fauré, whose lyrical, heart-rending melodies were played with just the right legato. Second, Lowell Liebermann’s Nocturne no. 5, op. 55, Russo showed his mastery of its many contrasting, intimate moods – often with a full range of dynamic shadings, including a ravishingly controlled pianissimo.
Mr. Russo’s easy yet thrilling virtuosity – with its nimble finger dexterity and enormous, controlled dynamic range – came to the fore in several of the selections, particularly the Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Liszt, and Liebermann. And the attentive Union Church audience leaped to its feet with calls of “bravissimo” after Russo’s closing rendition of the dashing Offenbach-Gimpel paraphrase on “The Marines’ Hymn,” with its many quick changes of register and ear-tickling glissandi. By then no one in attendance had any doubts that Russo is indeed a sensitive pianist of the first rank.
Prof. Bruce MacIntyre, to The Kings-Courier, Brooklyn, NY.
> Recital for “The Leshetizky Association” in New York City.
His recital displayed a most interesting selection of pieces that showed off his splendid technique and innate musicality. His command of the piano is on par with and world-class artist and he informs his playing with a love of music and the piano that is at once engaging and inspiring. He represents the highest standard of piano playing and the standard of the Leshetizky Association at its best.
Mara Waldman, President of The Leschetizky Association
> Recital at “Nuove Carriere” Music Festival in Palermo, Italy.
“Chopin according to Russo.”
There was subtle pianoforte playing Thursday evening at the Ss. Salvatore auditorium in Palermo by Sandro Russo, who made his appearance for “Nuove Carriere” presenting a program of rare piano transcriptions, which also included Chopin’s Variations Brillantes Op.12, and the Polonaise Fantasie Op.61.
The young Sicilian-born pianist who currently lives in New York, projects crystalline clarity in sonorities, and transparency of sound, which, however, did not lack moments of extreme intensity. He displayed a propensity for intimacy, meticulousness, and a soaring acrobatic virtuosity in the Flight of the Bumblebee arranged by Gyorgy Cziffra.
Sara Patera, “Giornale di Sicilia”