Gilmore International Keyboard Festival

Programming two-piano recitals takes derring-do because of so many ways a performance can go wrong…

But there also must be artists of matching musical intelligence and psychological inclination regarding the score. Gluing it together, of course, is ceaseless practice, with synchronized precision the starting point.

On Wednesday night, the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival concert at a full Dalton Center Recital Hall brought together these essentials for a compelling two-piano performance that will remain with the audience for a lifetime. Kirill Gerstein, 2010 Gilmore Artist, and Katherine Chi, rising Canadian pianist, combined for a blazing performance…

… Gerstein and Chi make a wonderfully matched duo. Each has technique to burn, but also taste that does not lose beauty in pursuit of precision alone. Katherine Chi proved herself a top-tier pianist whose excellence helped highlight Gerstein’s incredible talent. Finally, their performance reinforces our need for more duo-pianist programs.

Kalamazoo Gazette | May 1, 2014

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A rare experience of complete unity involving Katherine Chi, piano soloist; Lopez-Gomez; the musicians, and the audience evolved during the performance of Manuel de Falla’s impressionistic glimpses of his homeland in “Nights in the Gardens of Spain.” Chi’s range of expression on the piano was the perfect textural spice to the lush orchestral sounds of Symphoria.

Lopez-Gomez drew exceptional energy from the musicians on De Falla’s mysterious, sensuous, dramatic exploration of three-gardens. The music ranged from tender to tumultuous, and Chi’s expressive touch conveyed every nuance of emotion at the keyboard. Lopez-Gomez set a brisk tempo which, in the final five minutes produced scorching sounds from the full orchestra in exchanges with the romantic melodies of piano and strings. Chi’s technique was ethereal in the final, fading conclusion of the 26-minute piece. She cemented her place in the hearts of the audience when she rose from the piano bench and drifted to Lopez-Gomez, extending both her hands to grasp his and, with the slightest bow, thank him. The audience roared in appreciation…

Applause at the final stop of the Latin music tour was fervent for Symphoria, the soloists–including Zachary Hammond, oboe, and Alina Plourde, English horn– Lopez-Gomez, who conducted all but the de Falla without scores, and the captivating Chi. This was a concert that warmed hearts and left people wanting more.

The Post-Standard | January 25, 2014

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Thunder Bay Symphony

“Any concerto, anywhere, on stage from memory”, is a quote from a Curtis Institute of Music student that describes the expectation of the school’s students. Pianist Katherine Chi, was fully prepared when she received a call last week to come and play a Beethoven piano concerto in Thunder Bay, Ontario, SO’s opening Masterwork’s concert. In spite of not having played this concerto for several years and having only 5 days notice she was able to live up to the Curtis Institute’s expectation of its graduates. She arrived here from Germany in time to replace the renowned Anton Kuerti at the piano for the Masterworks concert with the TBSO. She played a stellar performance and received a rousing standing ovation for her efforts…

The performance heard last night was worthy of anything that Anton Kuerti would have performed. Katherine has her own style and interpretation of the music of Beethoven, but she played with the same level of confidence and style you would expect from a great pianist. In Kuerti’s generation there were not as many truly gifted pianists and so it was easier for his to become well known. Today places such as the Glenn Gould studio in Toronto join established conservatories such as the Curtis Institute in churning out great performance ready musicians for our concert stages; as a result many Canadian musicians are able to build solid international careers in music.

Lake Superior News | October 26, 2013

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San Antonio Symphony

In an unusual move, the concert and the season started with a piano concerto instead of an overture. The Rachmaninoff Third slips between dream and reality, serenity and ravishing crescendos.

Canadian native and pianist Katherine Chi, who now lives in Cambridge, Mass., performed with grace, intelligence and marvelous expression that can only come, with this difficult work, from confidence.

San Antonio Express News  | October 6, 2012

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Opening offers the magic of Mozart, MacKenzie and the NBSO

Pianist Katherine Chi … entered into a pensive dialogue with the orchestra, articulating her part with crystalline clarity and purity of tone. She is a self-effacing performer who, instead of pouncing on the piano, quietly concentrates her tremendous mental and physical energy on allowing the music to express its intrinsic depth and beauty.

Perhaps taking their cue from Chi, the ensemble played with powerful restraint and grace. Orchestra and soloist seemed to be enjoying intimate conversations, the way fine chamber players do as they explore different combinations of melody, harmony, tempo and tone color. Under MacKenzie’s deft, unpretentious and inspiring direction, Chi and the orchestra delivered an outstanding performance, making both Mozart’s music and the music beyond the music audible to the soul.

South Coast Today | September 26, 2012

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