Press

Performance Reviews

This piece is a triumph of the Classical style, and the Aspen’s performance was equally triumphant. Michael Mermagen’s cello provided a bright, strong foundation, David Perry’s violin soared, and Victoria Chiang’s characterful contributions on viola were delightful. All three were in perfect balance, sometimes in dialogue, other times in unified expression. Whatever challenges the Mozart presented in terms of technique or interpretation were executed with seeming ease. Read the full review

Gazettes

 

The ensemble and intonation were perfect. But most importantly, they are musicians for whom every note counts. Each note of each phrase was shaped beautifully — details like brief passages in the Mozart where players were together, before diverting, were brought out flawlessly. Perhaps only a fraction of the audience noticed these details, but the Aspen did, and they cared enough to make sure they came out. Dynamic control was amazing, as was the shape of every phrase, the architecture of every piece.
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Palm Beach Daily News

 

The second number Concerto No. 6 was interesting because there are no violin parts, just principal viola. Victoria Chiang and Julius Wirth collaborated well on viola. Victoria vigorously lead with elaborate viola playing and Julius followed uninterrupted. The combination of harpsichord, viola, contrabass and cello was a unique sound. Read the full review

The Rogers Revue

 

Chiang played [Telemann’s Concerto for Viola and Strings] with passion, power, and beauty….The Sinfonia Concertante in E Flat by Mozart, often called a “gem of the viola repertoire,” was performed with great expressive force, requiring a rapport between the two women which was more remarkable because apparently they had only recently met face to face. This was an outstanding tour de force….The audience and I were mesmerized by this exceptional virtuosity. Read the full review

DC Metro Theater Arts

 

She played the concert opener, Georg Philip Telemann’s Concerto in G major (famous from classical drive-time morning radio), with elan and imagination. Nurit Bar-Josef, concertmaster of the National Symphony and a last-minute replacement for the ailing violinist Stefan Jackiw, joined Chiang for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Throughout, Bar-Josef and Chiang balanced their intertwining lines, playing with sweet tone and Classical grace; among many high points, their closing passage in the second movement was a particular treat, as it could hardly fail to be in such sensitive hands. Read the full review

DMV CLASSICAL

 

Chiang was delightful as the restless Harold, attempting to control the orchestra, and adding beautiful moments to the boisterous energy of the large symphony. While the orchestra brooded, the harp and viola created very lyrical moments as Harold wanders around Italy. In the pilgrims’ procession, Chiang was joined by James Pospisil and his French horn, singing an evening hymn. Then the viola plays lots of delicate high notes while the other strings pick up the hymn. Love duets filled the third movement, with all the violas sharing with the English horn, then the flute joining the solo viola to keep the lovely Italian serenade rich and romantic. As much as Harold/Chiang want to remain a prominent part of the final movement, the driving energy of the brass and bassoons march on to the finish. A few last strains from the pilgrim hymn appear, but the violist gets buried, then joins in the final proclamation.

Duluth News Tribune

 

“In its first Washington performance [with the National Gallery of Art Orchestra], Jonathan Leshnoff’s Double Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra (written in 2007) got a committed reading by violinist Charles Wetherbee and violist Victoria Chiang. Leshnoff...thinks big...and you come away from the concerto feeling that you’ve heard something pleasantly significant....The two solo lines chase each other around in imitation, sometimes lyrically but more often with compelling energy, and Wetherbee and Chiang matched each other’s attacks, phrase-shapes and weights admirably."

Washington Post

 

“A spill-over crowd gathered to hear the Aspen String Trio play an all-Beethoven program Sunday afternoon. The Aspen players -- violinist David Perry, violist Victoria Chiang, cellist Michael Mermagen -- demonstrated tight ensemble playing, spot-on intonation and an effective way of digging into a phrase. There was plenty of drama and warmth in the C minor Trio, Op. 9, No. 3. The mix of lyricism and muscle the musicians brought to the G major Trio, Op. 9, No. 1, proved even more impressive; the irresistible, whirling finale -- you can really sense Beethoven showing off here -- was delivered with particular panache."

Baltimore Sun

 

“David Perry and Victoria Chiang then appeared in Pleyel’s Sinfonia Concertante, a work they recorded for Naxos in 2008....Chiang and Perry made a strong case for the work.  Their ensemble was immaculate, and Chiang’s sound penetrated to the back of the hall. 

"Gil Shaham concluded the concert playing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with a  trio of violists:  Sergey Malov handling of the first movement, Masao Kawasaki taking the second, and Dimitri Murrath completing the work....While none of the violists here matched Chiang in projection or ensemble playing with his partner, each had something to offer.”

Journal of the American Viola Society
International Viola Congress XXXVIII, Cincinnati, 2010 in Review

 

"Violist Victoria Chiang and pianist Rita Sloan gave a New York-class recital at the Houston Fine Arts Center. From the opening bars of Bach's Sonata for Viola da Gamba in D major to the concluding Viola Sonata Op. 11, No. 4 by Paul Hindemith, her playing was notable for its sheer size and dusky beauty. The Bach was remarkable for Chiang's flowing legato and flawless execution, while the short Romance for Viola and Piano by Ralph Vaughan Williams proved vigorously rhapsodic. The 18-minute Hindemith sonata had all the composer's familiar traits-complex late-Romantic variations, lovely melodies and technical complexity. Chiang's energy kept the music vibrant.

"The heart of the recital was Dmitri Shostakovich's last work, the Viola Sonata of 1975, the year of his death. Chiang handled all the chromatics and double stops with ease, enabling her to probe the sonata's anguished depths. After the sardonic second movement, the highlight of the evening was the Adagio finale with its quote from Beethoven and moving evocation of a ruggedly barren landscape, truly the music of a man worn out by political oppression and ill health but a defiant artist to the end."

Denver Post

 

"Violist Victoria Chiang, with pianist Rita Sloan and flutist Robert Bush, was presented by the Guild of Composers in December in a 20th century program, including two premieres: a romantically tuneful sonata written in 1926 by the obscure Russian composer Nikolay Roslavets, and Daniel Plante's dissonant, difficult Duo of 1994. Both were played with great technical assurance and affinity for the music."

Strings magazine

 

"Chiang poured out a wonderfully deep, communicative sound."

Baltimore Sun

 

"Victoria Chiang used her bow with great richness [in the Double Concerto for Violin and Viola by Jonathan Leshnoff], keeping the honey of the viola always articulate. Leshnoff’s concerto was complexly layered, though never dull. The interplay between brass and strings was colorful, even as the two soloists kept attention focused on their technical wizardry."

Duluth News Tribune

 

"Chiang's performance of Telemann's concerto was ideal. Her intonation was always perfect. Chiang ornamented the opening largo tastefully and coped with technical difficulties in the faster movements with aplomb. Her phrasing was always affecting and musical.

"If any work for viola and orchestra deserves to enter the standard repertoire, surely it is Max Bruch's "Romanze." A hyper-Romantic work filled with lush, gorgeous melodies, it was beautifully played by Chiang Tuesday night."

Baton Rouge Morning Advocate

 

"Speaking of excellent violists, Victoria Chiang gave a recital Sunday afternoon at Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton. She was particularly impressive in Hindemith's Sonata Op.11, No. 4, pouring out a rich tone and bringing vibrant character to each phrase.

"Chiang also offered telling accounts of Brahms' E-flat major Sonata and Bach's G minor Sonata. As for William Bergsma's Fantastic Variations on a Theme from "Tristan", the rambling score could use a little more Tristan and a little less fantasy, but the performance was incisive and polished."

Florida Sun-Sentinel

 

"Guests David Perry on violin and Victoria Chiang on viola shared the Sinfonia Concertante by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In three movements, this liquid music warmed the house, and made the evening feel very special. Perry and Chiang tossed melodies back and forth with ease."

Duluth News Tribune

 

"The Sinfonia featured two soloists, David Perry on violin and Victoria Chiang on viola. Both have long resumes, and both are members of the renowned Aspen Ensemble, a quintet, and the experience working together in a chamber-type setting showed. Chiang and Perry played like old musical friends together and did so with an almost chamber music sound, blending so seamlessly with each other and the orchestra that sometimes it was difficult to tell where one began and the other ended. The transitions between their solos and duets and orchestral sections were nearly flawless."

Duluth, MN Budgeteer News