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REVIEWS

Live Performance Reviews

“Your artistry was evident and compelling from beginning to end and very much appreciated by all of us listening in rapt attention.”
Norman Dunfee, President/Executive-Director of Mid-America Productions, on Ms. Shadick-Taylor’s 2011 Carnegie Hall performance

“The performance of a lifetime.”
–Sid Robinovitch, on Ms. Shadick-Taylor's performance of Paul William Pura’s Nemesis at 2010 Winnipeg New Music Festival

“ . . . a formidable artist in her own right . . . handled cascades of notes impressively.”
–John Charles, The Edmonton Sun

“ . . . In the Concert of the Nations series, Nándor Szederkényi, violinist, and Sylvia Shadick-Taylor, pianist, presented an evening concert of dazzling splendor, signal brilliance, and utmost virtuosity.”
–Niels Rühle, Bonner Kultur; Bonn, Germany (translation)

“ . . . faculty pianists such as . . . Sylvia Shadick-Taylor, who shine
and inspire, especially in contemporary music . . . help make Edmonton a city of cultural champions.”
–John Charles, The Edmonton Sun

“ . . . a delightful and prodigiously talented evening of classical music.”
Peter Chynoweth, The Jasper Booster

“ . . . absolute finesse . . . always flawless playing.”
–Dawn Ius, The Bonnyville Nouvelle


CD Reviews

Piano NorthWest: Music of William Pura  (CMCCD 20915, 2015)

“Shadick-Taylor’s biographical entry makes a point of noting her exploration of composers’ ideas and inspirations, musical building blocks, which in combination with her command of her instrument “transform a fine performance into a captivating story.” Pura’s prosaic compositions benefit greatly from the understanding of this “brilliant storyteller.” –David Olds | DISCoveries Editor, WholeNote Magazine, Vol. 20 No. 8

“This disc’s dramatic pianism reflects the spacious prairie beauty of the Canadian Northwest. The music on Piano NorthWest ranges from small scale and intimate to large scale and orchestral; from music simple in its clarity to works dense with complexity, requiring great resources of virtuosity on the part of the performer.

“William Pura is a multi-disciplinary composer who has worked in a variety of media, both digital and analogue.”
Canadian Music Centre

“...Pura paints his musical canvas with wide sweeps of gestural language that ranges from pounding explosions of densely harmonized cluster chords to gossamer light, more linear textures.

“Edmonton pianist Sylvia Shadick-Taylor proves an ideal partner in realizing Pura’s creative vision, displaying her bravura technique and an utter commitment to this complex music.”
–Winnipeg Free Press
| March 26, 2015

Caprice  (Arktos, 2004)

“ . . . the playing has wonderful presence and ambiance. The performer could be in the same room as the listener.

"What really shines through on this album, though, is Sylvia Shadick-Taylor’s pristine technical command of her instrument demonstrated by the clarity of articulation and expression, as well as the wonderful musicality which emerges from her understanding of the inner workings of the individual pieces.”
–Jerry Ozipko, Alberta New Music and Arts Review

“This disc is indeed a great DISCovery. Sylvia Shadick-Taylor is a young, very talented virtuoso pianist from Alberta who has toured Canada, US, Germany and Japan and even played Carnegie Hall.
This, her third CD, is an ambitious and extremely difficult yet entertaining programme. As the unifying title suggests the ten pieces played here are “caprices” or “capriccios.” They are all whimsical and light-hearted, sometimes dreamy, even passionate and none are easy — a great way to showcase pianistic talent.

"She immediately captivates with her delicate touch and freewheeling spirit in Moszkowski’s Caprice Espagnol especially in the 'leggieramente' central part with its Spanish rhythms.

"Pieces by Mendelssohn and Weber follow but with her delectable, idiomatic playing of the Brahms Capriccio it seems as if she is poking fun at good old Brahms. Coming from this pianist, I am sure he would not have minded at all.

"From this point on the disc seems to take off like a bird and her youthful exuberance is catching. In Gottschalk’s Caprice de Printemps she shapes the rondo Mazurka so lovingly that one thinks that her playing is better than the work itself. In the monumental Liszt A Capriccio she conquers all technical difficulties and is truly inspired although the length and difficult overall shape of this work may require more maturity.

"She sails effortlessly through Dohnanyi’s incredibly difficult Konzertetude where the already fast tempo just keeps doubling and tripling as it goes on. Wow!

"Need I say anything more? Most enjoyable and satisfying indeed."
–Janos Gardonyi, The Wholenote (June ‘05)

Intimate Impressions:  The Piano Music of Frederic Mompou (Arktos, 1998)

“An air of exoticism and Spanish impressionism wafts in from Alberta
in the music of Federico Mompou, at once strange, mysterious and entrancing. Impassioned by the repertoire, Shadick-Taylor does it perfect justice, awakening us to a happy rediscovery.”
–Alain Bénard,  Le Journal Montréal (translation)

“No mere impressionistic musical bonbons, these. From Edmonton pianist Shadick-Taylor’s fluid fingers, these brief yet intensely expressive and compacted pieces . . . are lovingly coaxed, evoked
and nurtured . . . Shadick-Taylor’s phrasing sometimes leaves you breathless . . . The full range of dynamic subtleties within the essentially quiet expanses of these miniatures is surprisingly varied and lovingly expressed.”
–Jerry Ozipko, See Magazine

At Your Service (Arktos, 1994)

“ . . . And what playing it is! . . . all the performers . . . are at a world-class level. Very seldom does one get such a beautiful polished music product as At Your Service.”
–Piotr Grella-Mozejko, The Albertan Composer

“ . . . Shadick-Taylor demonstrates her technique to great effect. As a sampling of the accompanist’s art, this is an eclectic and skillfully played disc . . . As an indication of the world-class talent right in our backyard, it is as solid a piece of evidence as one could ask for.”
–D.T. Baker, See Magazine

“ . . . an excellent compilation . . . performed by generously talented musicians, supported sensitively and artistically by the art of Sylvia Shadick-Taylor.”
–Pamel Hauser, The Gateway