Press

“Joanne Kong communicated the pure joy of music-making …” CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

“Joanne Kong made piano playing look deceptively easy …. finesse and flexibility.” THE WASHINGTON POST

“exquisite piano pieces … sensitively played by Joanne Kong …” THE NEW YORK TIMES

“superb …” THE BOSTON GLOBE

“She gave a nimble performance of clockwork accuracy …” LOS ANGELES TIMES

“But the evening’s highlight was the world premiere of Colgrass’ Side by Side for harpsichord, altered piano and orchestra. The title comes from the fact that both instruments are played “side by side” by one performer. Fearless soloist Joanne Kong handled the demanding and dense score with such fluidity that you would have thought she were seated before only one instrument.” THE WHOLENOTE MAGAZINE

“Her fingerwork was crisp yet fluid … her interpretations capable of wonderfully intelligent phrasing at cadences.”

“superb artistry.… Kong breathes her phrases, which make them both natural and exciting as she infuses her whole self into the music before her.” SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

“obviously is a Bach specialist … her technique is impressive.” LOS ANGELES HERALD EXAMINER

“Joanne Kong is one of the premiere harpsichordists in the United States.” WINTER PARK BACH FESTIVAL

“this pianist displayed taste and discernment not common among ambitious newcomers…. remarkable technical ability” THE OREGONIAN

“This concert was one of the increasingly rare occasions when a showcase performance by a prominent local musician brings out colleagues in force. A wide cross-section of Richmond’s keyboard artists and composers attended – a testimony to the high regard in which Kong is held.” VIRGINIA CLASSICAL MUSIC BLOG

“While [Christoph] Wolff kept everything in balance — soloists, choir, orchestra — two instruments stood out more than most. Joanne Kong’s harpsichord put the listener in the period of Bach, and Lisa Terry on viola da gamba added emotional shadings, whether of sadness or fear.” ORLANDO SENTINEL

“Ms. Kong used all the expressive powers possible. The performances displayed the utmost in keyboard sensitivity and variety of tone. She plays with grace, style and thorough understanding of the works at hand.”

“The best players, like Kong, make the instrument’s [harpsichord’s] limitations a source of strength, so that embellishments that would be barely noticed on a piano stand out vividly. Rubato is also an expressive tool, and during the slow movement, one could actually hear the delicate spacing between notes.”

“Joanne Kong wooed the audience with a technical wizardry that matched the compositional grandeur of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Playing her own two-manual harpsichord, Ms. Kong made each of the 30 variations a miniature masterpiece of delicacy and controlled exuberance. Cascades of notes flowed from the agitated plectrums in a flood of intensity.”

“She [soprano Ying Huang, in Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate] sang with fluency and brilliancy as Kong and the Shanghai Quartet convincingly miniaturized the usual orchestral accompaniment.”

“Pianist Joanne Kong … contributed mightily to this artistic triumph by a kind of subliminal coordination that is the hallmark of a first-rate performer.” RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH

“Artistry is often hard to come by on the harpsichord. But Joanne Kong proved any such assumptions wrong in a sparkling recital.”

“She was supremely confident in her touch and provided crisp lead parts as well as boiling and surging undercurrents for her colleagues.” RICHMOND NEWS LEADER

“Kong’s playing was absolutely impeccable throughout.” THE MONTEREY COUNTY HERALD

“She exhibits a very high level of inner musicianship, and although her technique is more than adequate, it is the finer things that challenge the ear: the subtleties of phrasing, the exquisite rubato … and her sound which is warm and sensitive.” SALEM COLLEGIAN

“Kong played brilliantly … her touch was crisp, strong or light, as required for solo or supportive roles.” EUGENE REGISTER-GUARD

“One dominant trait permeates everything—intensity. An innate musicality is ever present which, combined with a technique of authority, should open the doors to an enviable career.” OREGON JOURNAL

“Kong translated her considerable skills into Spanish for a set of five graceful, scrupulously executed Soler sonatas…. the d minor sonata was filled with perfectly measured filigree turns.” SAN ANTONIO LIGHT

“Kong displayed a fine touch in her solo moments” THE MALIBU TIMES

“Kong was outstanding in the finale, which brought the audience to its feet.” ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

“Her technical virtuosity, combined with her bold interpretations makes Miss Kong a pianist to watch…. Even the most intricate, the most subtle counterpoint or syncopation came to life. The music moved with perfect fluidity.” ROSEBURG NEWS-REVIEW