Roger Woodward is a mercurial magician at the keyboard, able to blend subtle and surprising colours and shapes to create an arc in the air. (Sydney Morning Herald, City Recital Hall recital 24/6/07 with Simon Tedeschi)
A Roger Woodward performance is an event to remember…. one felt that this was a performance that had been considered in every microscopic detail. (From New Zealand tour with NZSO, Yoel Levi, Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto, September 2001)
Roger Woodward, Australia’s frontline concert pianist… gave us an electrifying performance of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto. Dashing through the score from glittering pianissimo to pounding sonority (straight from the shoulder but never harsh), Woodward turned in a performance that was deftly conceived yet so highly charged it threatened to become explosive.” (NZ Herald Online, 7/9/01)
It was as if Woodward were opening a door and taking us, like Virgil leading Dante, out into an ever-expanding world of wonders. (Laurie Strachan, The Australian, 25/9/92)
Whether concerned with taste or timbre, no composer could have hoped for more from any interpreter than the miraculously beautiful and insightful performances which we heard from Woodward, both as soloist and accompanist. (The Sun Herald, 9/4/95)
Roger Woodward…. astonished the New York Philharmonic’s audiences at the Lincoln Center …. mastered a piano part with passion, strength and understanding. (World Premiere, Xenakis “Keqrops”, NYPO/Mehta) (Nouritza Matossian, Tempo 1987)
Titanic pianist possessed by Prokofiev … more frenetic pianists would simply wear out the listener with a single work. But Woodward is too great a musician for that. (South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 31/8/91)
Woodward reaches into the soul of music … in a way that other pianists cannot. (Hong Kong Standard, 9/4/88)
Pianists of Woodward’s calibre are rare indeed…. His performance was magical and he captivated the audience. (Dagbladid-Visir, Iceland, 3/4/84)
He is the greatest living performer of contemporary music. (The Listener, New Zealand)
A genius of the piano like Roger Woodward.. the only pianist in the world who plays Xenakis’s music from memory..” (The Guardian, London, 6/1/91)
Half Man, half dragon (Iannis Xenakis, 1987)
Woodward exhibited an instrumental mastery of virtuosity that took one’s breath away. (Trieste Festival, 1990).
His performances are as remarkable to see, as to hear. (Xenakis ‘Eonta’; Benjamin Bar-Am, The Jerusalem Post).
Woodward’s virtuosity served the highest artistic ends… exalted, even sublime in character. (Beethoven Sonatas; Meirion Bowen, The Guardian, London.)
Roger Woodward is a pianist who is always worth hearing, but when he gives a recital of Chopin attendance is almost mandatory. The Australian, 14/3/97.
Magical sounds came from every part of the instrument (Sir Yehudi Menuhin)
Woodward demonstrated a stature as a piano recitalist unrivalled in this country.. (Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, 1990).
EXTRACTS FROM OTHER REVIEWS
Woodward expounded it with flawless concentration and brilliant technical address. (Barraqué Sonata, David Murray, Financial Times, London)
…. showed character and intelligence backed up by fierce technical assurance. (Beethoven Sonatas; Stephen Walsh, The Observer, London).
Woodward’s virtuosity served the highest artistic ends…. exalted, even sublime in character. (Beethoven Sonatas; Meirion Bower, The Guardian, London).
tremendous power was contrasted against the utmost delicacy… (Prokofiev Third Concerto; Malcolm Rayment, Glasgow Herald, Scotland.)
… an explosion of passion for life…. (Prokofiev Sonatas Nos 7 and 8; To Ethnos Athens).
… beautiful, captivating, profound and greatly original execution of (Chopin’s) B Minor Sonata. (Express Wieczomy, Warsaw).
Cataclysm at the keyboard… the virtuosity .. was positively stunning . (Xenakis ‘Eonta’; The Evening Post, Dublin Ireland)
The entire performance was a tour de force of dazzling pianism… (Mary McGorris, Irish Independent)
Roger Woodward…. été tout simplement magnifiques (Claude Samuel, Le Matin, Paris France).
… a highly sensitive, emotional interpretative ability… a prolonged standing ovation. (Bartok 2nd Concerto; N.Barret, Denver News, USA).
Chopin, masterfully played… the near-hypnotic spell of Woodward’s recitals… an awesome feat of memory. (Roger Covell, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia).
A performance that was both brilliant and impeccable. (Beethoven Sonata Op 106, Laurie Strachan, The Australian)
An explosive and impressive pianist. (Bartok 2nd Concerto; Glenn Giffin, Denver Post, USA).
EXTRACTS FROM ALBUM REVIEWS
Brahms Piano Concerto D Minor – Kurt Masur/Philharmonia Orchestra RCA
This is a powerful and distinctive reading. (Edward Greenfield, The Gramophone)
… his playing has a deep resonance that serves the music brilliantly. (Tom Sutcliffe, Vogue)
… an exciting disc – and a substantial achievement of this fascinating pianist. (Dominic Gill, Financial Times, London).
Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues (double album) RCA
Roger Woodward is a pianist of great brilliance and flair… playing is never less than compelling. (Robert Leighton, The Gramophone)
Woodward is a pianist of tremendous flair and virtuosity… a brilliant performer.. (Music and Musicians)
Barraqué Sonata for Piano; Brouwer Sonata; Busotti Pour Clavier – EMI
…. must be one of the best piano recordings ever…
Techique is formidable; every line is clear, ever shade of terraced dynamic visible. (Michael Thorne, Hi-Fi News & Record Review)
Beethoven “Eroica” Symphony (Liszt’s transcription) RCA
… his phenomenal command of musical structure and the flawless rhythmic control… (Tom Sutcliffe, ‘Classical Music’)
Beethoven Opp 57 and 111
…. a superbly gripping performance… like a breath of fresh air. (Denby Richards, Express and News)
Chopin : Allegro de Concert A Maj Op 46; Polonaise F sharp minor Op 4; Barcarolle op 60; 8 Mazurkas – HMV
This is authoritative Chopin playing which impresses for its grasp of style and period…. shows a subtle awareness of rubato which is compatible with the best in Rubinstein…. a distinguished recording. (Music and Musicians)
R O G E R W O O D W A R D
C O N C E R T R E V I E W S
Treasure - Discography
Woodward expounded it with flawless concentration and brilliant technical address (Barraqué Sonata)
David Murray, Financial Times, London
...a genius of the piano like Roger Woodward, the only pianist in the world who plays Xenakis’s music from memory.
Tom Sutcliffe, The Guardian, London
...showed character and intelligence backed up by fierce technical assurance. (Beethoven Sonatas)
Stephen Walsh, The Observer, London
Woodward’s virtuosity served the highest artistic ends…...exalted, even sublime in character. (Beethoven Sonatas)
Meirion Bowen, The Guardian, London
…delicacy and brilliance in plenty… (Liszt 2nd Concerto) the work of a master pianist (Beethoven Sonatas)
Dominic Gill, Financial Times, London
...a spacious and intense performance (Schoenberg Concerto)
Peter Stadlen, The Daily Telegraph, London
Tremendous power was contrasted against the utmost delicacy. (Prokofiev 3rd Concerto)
Malcolm Rayment, Glasgow Herald, Scotland
...breathtakingly beautiful playing (Beethoven Sonatas)
Fred Blanks, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
...a performance that was both brilliant and impeccable (Beethoven Sonata Op. 106)
Laurie Strachan, The Australian, Sydney
An explosive and impressive pianist… (Bartok 2nd Concerto)
Glenn Giffin, Denver Post, USA
Roger Woodward…astonished the New York Philharmonic’s audiences at the Lincoln Centre… mastered a piano part with passion, strength and understanding… (Xenakis Keqrops)
Nouritza Matossian, Tempo, London
...a highly sensitive, emotional interpretive ability… a prolonged standing ovation (Bartok 2nd Concerto)
N. Barrett, Denver News, USA
Der pianist Roger Woodward brillierte in dem überaus komplexen Keqrops
Lothar Mattner, Die Welt, Germany
He is one of the truly great pianists of the 80s.
Leif Aare, Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden
...Roger Woodward…été tout simplement magnifiques.
Claude Samuel, le Matin, Paris, France
His performance was as remarkable to see, as to hear. (Xenakis Eonta)
Benjamin Bar-Am, The Jerusalem Post
Pianists of Woodward’s calibre are rare indeed. His performance was magical…
Eyjólfur Melsted, Dagbladid-Visir, Iceland
Chopin, masterfully played…the near-hypnotic spell of Woodward’s recitals…an awesome feat of memory.
Prof. Roger Covell, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
Here’s To The Next Time
Woodward Roger Woodward is a pianist’s name becoming more and more evident in the international press. Critics speak only in superlatives end when one has heard him play one can understand why. However what I don’t understand is why the extensive PR material about Woodward does not reveal his age and nationality. My eves tell me however that Woodward is between 40 and 50. My ears tell me that he is one of the truly great pianists of the 80’s. His performance ranges from the essence of a colourful whisper to the most dynamic virtuosity and this shows that he has incredible control over intricate counterpoint line play. Woodward’s repertoire contains about 90 (!) piano and orchestral works - from Bach to Xenakis. His solo repertoire with the complete classical range as 4 foundation is almost unending.
He has a tour at 12 concerts ahead at him in Australia spanning Chopin’s entire works.
He also played Chopin at his Scandinavian debut last week in a way which made me sit upright in my chair, listen and take it all in. No emotional illusions in the name of virtuosity here! Woodward offers only purity of performance.
It was clear right from the start with the initial D-flat major Nocturne where the melodic declamations were entwined with unending silver thread which was only temporarily discontinued in a shimmering cloud of tones before again assuming its ephemeral presence.
Woodward established his personal relationship with Chopin in a magnificently structured Andante Spianato and the accompanying Polonaise. But Woodward is at his most engaging when playing groups of waltzes and mazurkas which he produced as the quintessential Chopin message and pianistic style. He interpreted them with meditative clarity and made every carefully chiseled shade of feeling appear as an absolute value in itself. A sense of strong piano power was a continuous thread through this poetry.
We look forward to the next time, Mr. Woodward.
Leif Aare, Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden
ROGER WOODWARD CONDUCTS ALPHA CENTAURI ENSEMBLE AND SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY AT THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE (26 PERFORMANCES)
Xenakis - Kraanerg
Roger Woodward has an ideal temperament to conduct this overwhelming score. He can he relied on to maintain its striking force without compromise and to identify with its strategies with passion and commitment.
Roger Covell, The Sydney Morning Herald, November 1988
As an evening of dance, it is outstanding. As an evening of music, it is outstanding. But performed in parallel, the dance inspired by the music yet totally different, the two streams touching yet never merging. it all becomes an astonishing display of the creative process at work. Kraanerg is as much a journey of discovery for the audiences as for the performers. New eras are not easy to establish.
Brian Hoad, The Bulletin, November 1988
Mass upon mass of sound heaves up towards the roof of the opera Theatre as more still surges from the pit. Here, twenty three instrumentalists led by Roger Woodward are damned if the raging forces driven out of a pre-recorded tape will crush them. The tape is controlled by an additional two men in the pit following Woodward’s superb baton. In the stalls, Rolf Gehlhaar filters the dialogue between something that is still recognisably human and something else that might well be coming from another planet, from primeval time or time future. This is Xenakis’ Kraanerg, without doubt one of the greatest compositions of the 20th century.
Maria Shevtsova, New Theatre Australia January/February 1989