Santa Cruz Symphony Concert was Mind-Blowing

Santa Cruz Sentinel

"What a gift to the community that performance was."

"The concert was beautiful, and the connection between conductor and pianist perfect. We could have been at Carnegie Hall."

San Francisco Classical Voice

Nothing short of miraculous. The sheer excitement of witnessing such extraordinary musicmaking was an experience to be remembered.

The Queen of the Piano…The energy and excitement would not have been any less if Taylor Swift were about to appear.

She teased with subtle rubato and ritardando, challenging the orchestra to come along, but Stewart was always attentive to her signals, delivering harmonious support from the orchestra.

As if the two concerti weren’t enough, Yuja responded to the audience’s fervor by performing three encores. The audience sighed, and was left mesmerized beyond what any pop queen could achieve.

Local Santa Cruz

Cause for celebration.

Through their intimate involvement with their art, Yuja, Stewart, and the orchestral musicians drew us in to an unforgettable musical experience.

The audience was riveted and the anticipation was palpable. At the end of each captivating movement, there was an audible sound of people remembering to breathe again.

The packed houses and thunderous audience ovations confirm Yuja’s status as one of this century’s most phenomenal artists; her collaboration with SCS verifies our orchestra’s superb commitment to bringing world-renowned artistry to local stages.

The orchestra was in complete attunement with Yuja’s range of creative expression. Maestro Stewart navigated the musicians in a graceful narrative that captured the poetic essence of Beethoven and Brahms. Yuja and Stewart’s instinctual understanding of the varied tempos and character within each composition made the music flow and come to life.

Yuja’s playfulness during her multiple encores was a bright conclusion to such a powerful show.

Peninsula Reviews

Perfection was achieved. Rare, innovative programming, performed with brilliance, BRAVO!

Yuja Wang’s playing of this concerto displayed a flawless sense of the music’s ebb, flow and surge with exquisitely tapered phrasing.

Intense attention to detail on the part of both Stewart and Yuja Wang.

Impressive emotional abandon, tempered at times by eloquent restraint of tone and dynamics — all perfectly coordinated under the baton of Stewart.

Yuja demonstrated a sense of natural, refined technique that produced lavish color and subtle nuances.

Both the orchestra and soloist displayed ferocious temperament, brilliant virtuosity and poetic soul. The intensity of Yuja’s octave passages was simple awesome.

Both Maestro Stewart and Yuja Wang are impressive musical talents.