Doing Right by Russia

"Korsantia, who was born in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and is now on the piano faculty at New England Conservatory, has the formidable technique the concerto requires, and he took just enough license."

Jeffrey Gantz, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Pianist Korsantia shines in Boston Philharmonic’s Russian program

Korsantia shone brightest in the variations of the second movement. But throughout, from the fiery first movement to the haunting third, he played with the sensitivity of a chamber musician. The orchestra, under Zander’s guide, wrapped Korsantia in silvery sheets of sound.

Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review
Korsantia’s Musical Masonry

Korsantia’s probed, plotted, modulated take gripped me from the very first rumbling roll, strangely slow, less a horizon event than a solemn comment on the drawn melody. The Andante’s lost, haunting shifts of enharmony made one ask what keys can we count on, ultimately: one heard droplets of blood, ineffably sad. Even with unearthly lightness and some pointed pauses, Korsantia conveyed the last two movements in due irritation, the composer losing patience with ache and telling all, “I’m done expressing and explaining, okay?”

David Moran, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

"For his latest return to Duluth, pianist Alexander Korsantia tackled Frédéric Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2, emphasizing the composer's sense of playfulness with the music in the first movement and showcasing his signature strength of finding the sweet spot to be heard playing against the orchestra."

Lawrance Bernabo, Duluth News Tribune
DSSO’s ‘Genesis’ opener provides musical big bang

"There was a nice build to the restated theme by the orchestra, and Korsantia responded with notes that had an aching quality to them. He built on that in the next part of the opening movement, with dazzling runs up and down the keyboard. Then Korsantia provided thunder, hammering home a giant chord, before going with another display of lighting over the keys. The movement ended with a big bang that had the audience gasping."

Lawrance Bernabo, Duluth News Tribune
Dynamic Odyssey: Alexander Korsantia in Recital

"...Korsantia unleashed a veritable firestorm of graduated and terraced dynamics, ranging from lulling ppp’s to monstrous fff’s that ... testified to a towering colorist of the keyboard. The moment Korsantia pedaled away his final chords from Mussorgsky’s 'The Great Gate of Kiev,' the packed house rose as one aroused acolyte of a remarkable piano wizard to embrace their newfound idol."

Dr. Gary Lemco, Peninsula Reviews
Pianist's artistry brings stories of Mussorgsky, Beethoven to life

"In each of the three pieces on the program, Korsantia shared his unique gift for hooking us early with the storyline, and making it convincing right to the final chord.

"From beginning to end Korsantia was a master storyteller with prodigious piano articulation."

Sam Black, Duluth News Tribune
Showing the Israeli audience how Mozart should be played
"Even after playing these pieces for what must have been the thousandth time, especially K. 271, a musical miracle from start to finish, Korsantia still found something unique to say. The colors he brought from the piano were like an orchestra in itself. The inner voices he chose to emphasize cast a new light on this familiar work. The combination of soft and percussive sounds, the courage to make subtle changes in tempo, the elegance and good humor, the confidence that it would all work out - in his playing, all these proved once again that a 250-year-old classical piece can still be as relevant as if it were written for contemporary listeners. And when performed by an artist with a radiant personality who gives himself up to the audience and who treats the music with uncompromising professionalism of the highest order, the result is an experiential and intellectual event that is both serious and fun."
Noam Ben Zeev, Haaretz
Music in the Mountains: A novel collaboration -- feast for ear and eye
"Korsantia’s interpretation was vivid, sensitive and grandiose. His 'Promenade' captured the moods of the viewers’ progress through the exhibition. Each 'Picture' was a vibrant sound-portrait: the brooding of 'The Old Castle'; gossamer lightness in 'Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells'; the energy of the 'Marketplace at Limoges'; somber darkness in 'Catacombs'; and the triumphal majesty of the 'Gates of Kiev.' He plays stooped low over the keyboard, seeming to breathe into his fingers an intensity that never lets up. Just superb."
Charles Atthill, The Union (CA)
PianoSummer Gala at SUNY New Paltz
"Frederic Chopin's Scherzo No. 2 in D flat is a marvelous example of his genius to charge his short pieces with symphonic contrasts and dynamics. Alexander Korsantia met the challenge and with flying colors filled the hall with exuberant sound. From the first repeated roll call to the harmonic, exalted theme, he played with passion and conviction, ending with fortissimo chords that brought the disparate elements together in a resonant coda. Korsantia was in his element with Chopin."
James F. Cotter, Times Herald-Record
Concert Review: Israel Sinfonietta
"Georgian pianist Alexander Korsantia, now residing in America, was a wonderful surprise. Crouching over the keyboard, dressed all in black, he tossed off the concerto with ease and style, projecting the image of a major pianistic talent."
Max Stern, Jerusalem Post
Fill-Ins Delight Thursday CSO Crowd
"It would be hard to find a more convincing replacement for Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor than Korsantia, a native of Tbilisi, Georgia. The prize-winning pianist is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory and has a busy solo career.

From his first notes of the Rachmaninoff, we knew we were in for a treat. Here was an artist of depth and musicianship, who projected a refined touch, clarity and beauty of line. His use of rubato (give and take in the tempo) was liberal, sometimes causing the pulse to sag.

But the softer, lyrical themes had an intimate quality that was quite beautiful. Korsantia's arsenal included a spectacular technique, and he attacked the treacherous opening of the finale as cleanly as I've ever heard. His final cadenza came off like a rocket, for an exciting finish."

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
Elgin Symphony
"Korsantia has loads of technique, and the soft passages of the work truly sang. His no-nonsense reading of the work reminds me of the great Russian pianist Stanislav Richter's way with the composition."
Beacon News
Calgary Recital
"Beginning his program with early Beethoven and finishing with late Prokofiev, Korsantia held the audience in the palm of his hand, his performance the last word in polish, bravura technique and musical concentration.

Korsantia’s magical way with piano miniatures was evident from the outset in his exquisite performance of an early Beethoven sonatina — a student work, really — usually performed today by pre-teens.

Treating the work with respect, Korsantia made the piece sound mature beyond its actual substance.

Two Chopin mazurkas followed. Korsantia is a marvellous Chopin player, the composer’s always-present melodies coloured and shaped, and the pianistic figuration natural and flowing, with just a touch of “brilliante” to give it a French élan.

Chopin’s Scherzo No. 1 in B minor closed the first half, perhaps the best live performance I have heard of the piece."
Calgary Herald
A Not so Tchaikovsky Spectacular
"Alexander Korsantia joined the symphony to close out the first half with an aggressive and athletic performance of the ubiquitous first concerto in all its primary colors. Big sweeping melodies, crashing chords, blistering octaves. The usual drama.

Korsantia hit all the marks. Plenty of flourish, a sort of 'What have I got to lose' panache matched with a snapping muscular precision."
Peter Lefevre, Orange County Register
South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Toradze Studio Grand
"Alexander Korsantia and the orchestra made Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini' a conversation between the two of them. Korsantia’s playing in the riotous first movement was full of flourishes, while his playing on the slower parts of the second movement was lush and backed by expansive playing by Yeh and the orchestra. It ended with a fast, exciting reading of the third movement."
Andrew S. Hughes, South Bend Tribune
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