NJSO concert review: Passion and precision combine in season-best performance

05.15.17
Jennifer Koh
The Star-Ledger

By James C. Taylor

...the NJSO -- under maestro Xian Zhang -- delivered one of their best concerts of the season, and certainly the most impassioned performance of any one piece [Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D-minor], thanks to their guest soloist, Jennifer Koh.

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Koh's playing throughout [the first movement] showed a range of colors and personalities, from sweet to downright earthy. What's more, she performed in a state of total focus, rarely looking up to the audience, but rather looking down intensely at her instrument, her cropped bob of black hair whipping around her as she played. ... Koh's playing of the high D-natural at the end of the [second movement] was so stirring ... Koh proceeded to dispatch the third movement Allegro (one of the most formidable in the entire violin repertoire) with ease.

...

She's a dynamic artist, and credit goes to Zhang and the NJSO -- not just for booking her for these concerts, but for matching her talents. This was a performance that brimmed with passion and musical insight.

Read the full review.