Vijay Venkatesh



“‘Hermit Songs,’ which was sung with a fine attention to diction and legato by soprano Elisa Johnston. Her partner, pianist Vijay Venkatesh, has distinguished himself at previous Le Salon de Musiques concerts and did not disappoint here. He provided a supple, yielding accompaniment that effortlessly blended and contrasted with Johnston’s voice.” – Crescenta Valley Weekly , May 2017

“Vijay Venkatesh’s sparkling pianism and innate sense of partnership were a joy to hear.” – Le Salon de Musiques
March 2017

“Pianist Vijay Venkatesh crisply delineated the score’s sparkling textures and passagework..” – Crescenta Valley Weekly
Jan 2017

“Venkatesh opened the concert Friday with Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2, in a performance with the Seattle Symphony which demonstrated profound musicianship as well as an unobtrusive technique which emphasized the atmosphere of the work. There was never a careless note in his performance, every detail shaped with thought for its place in the work and judicious use of pedal so that clarity came through in beautiful legato passages, full of tenderness and lucidity. At the same time the last movement felt light and easy despite lightning speed. This listener wouldn’t hesitate to go and hear him again, thanks to this moving, insightful performance.” – Phillipa Kiraly, TheSunBreak | Seattle 

September 2015

“The resonant, golden tone Vijay Venkatesh brought to the severe, Bach-like opening of Saint-Saëns Concerto No.2 was admirable….Venkatesh sold me with his Saint-Saëns, genial, fluent, technically firm.” Gavin Borchert | Seattle Weekly September 2015

“.. The centerpiece concerto — Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 — has been recorded and performed seemingly endlessly. But never quite like Saturday – and that’s a compliment. Guest pianist Vijay Venkatesh and Shimada gave this warhorse of a concert piece a softer reading, one full of texture and nuance that went far beyond the two-handed banging and staccato scales that pass for some performances. For such a young pianist, Venkatesh exudes a musical confidence, as his reading of the concerto was far more languid, more lyrical and more nuanced than the standard performance. In the many long washes of scales, he would accent his playing with a pulse, a sense of direction that went beyond pianistic showmanship. His sense of color, of dynamics and of phrasing all revealed lyricism in areas that many play as barren passagework, and he showed an affection for the Romantic idiom, including a winning use of supple, rolled arpeggios. With both an endearing stage presence (could we be thinking Van Cliburn here?) and a personal voice, Venkatesh seems destined to make a musical impact on bigger stages.” – Milton Moore, 2013

“Vijay Venkatesh, 22, joined the orchestra as soloist in Liszt’s dynamic Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat. Venkatesh lived up to his already impressive resume, handling well the various challenges of this virtuosic work. He established a grand mood by dispatching the powerful octaves at the beginning with complete assurance. Throughout, his fingers danced over the keys at the appropriate moments but also sang beautifully in the more lyrical parts of the concerto. At the end of the piano concerto, the audience jumped to its feet to hail Venkatesh. He graciously played as an encore a solo piece “The Maiden and the Nightingale” by Granados. Once again his superb musicianship, sure technique, and sensitive expression were abundantly on display…he has all the promise of a brilliant future.” – Timothy Gaylard | The Roanoke Times 2013

“The program framed the weighty and serious Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in E- flat with wunderkind Vijay Venkatesh as soloist. Maestro Ken Lam conducted the Brevard Festival Orchestra. Mr. Venkatesh’s meteoric rise to stardom is as breathtaking to read about as his playing is to hear. At only 21, he has won a long list of concerto competitions, has played in major halls, on the radio, and has been a prize-winner on the global scene. We were surely blown away by Venkatesh’s artistically mature performance despite his age…The concerto affords ample opportunities for virtuosic display and the most intimate and tender moments, such as in the second movement, and Venkatesh, who plays with incredible dexterity and economy of motion, did both ends of the artistic spectrum equal justice. Laura McDowell | Classical Voice of North Carolina 2012

“Vijay captured everyone’s attention with his very first note of Mozart’s Concerto No. 23 in A major K.488 and impressed us with his sweet and warm sound throughout his performance. Bravo!” – Center of Musical Excellence 2014

“I’m old enough to have seen the following play live: Itzhak Perlman play the Beethoven, Carlo Maria Giulini conduct Bruckner’s 8th, Lynn Harrell play the Dvorak, Simon Rattle conduct Mahler’s 1st, Radu Lupu, Andres Segovia, my good friend Christopher Parkening, etc. In other words, LEGENDS of the 20th century. Vijay’s performance this afternoon (Tchaikovksy’s First Concerto with the YMF Debut Orchestra) puts him in the same league, he’s every bit as good and clearly their equal: tremendous and powerful virtuosity, sublime phrasing, beautiful lyricism, mature and sensitive interpretation. Thank you for blessing all our lives with your artistry! Bravo, Vijay!!” – Mark Westling 2011

Vijay, What a magnificent concert!! Wilhelm Kempf is looking down from heaven envious of your tender playing of Beethoven’s “Moonlight”. The Schubert was simply lovely and delightful, and the Liszt “Hungarian Rhapsody” and “Reminiscences from Don Giovanni” were monumental tours-de-force. Simply stunning, deeply moving, and sublime artistry throughout the entire recital. The pleasure and honor was all mine to experience your powerful and compelling artistry. Fantastic!! Bravo!! – Mark Westling 2012

“..His Chopin was heaven-sent…” – Nina Scolnik, UCI Professor 2010

“His sound was just ravishing, the Liszt was truly extraordinary” – Nina Scolnik, UCI Professor 2010

“Thanks again for the brilliant performance. Such a treat and so moved by your full self expression. You are such a gift to all who are fortunate enough to hear you play. Continue to shine brightly VV!” – Victor Archuleta 2011

“..Your concert at Brevard was absolutely amazing….19 minutes of Liszt (Concerto No.1) was perfection!” – Lyt Harris 2012

“Fourteen – year-old Venkatesh’s extraordinarily polished performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto was remarkable not only for its virtuosity but for its musicality. He not only had the full measure of the score technically, playing with a clean, balanced, absolutely sure touch, but proved more than capable of finding and releasing the music’s drama and charm. He deserved a standing ovation and got one.” – Orange County Register, 2005

August 2010 Concert Review
September 2011 Concert Review
July 2012 Concert Review
Oct 2013 Concert Review

iTunes Album Review of “Vijay Performs Chopin”:

“Vijay Venkatesh is brilliant! His playing is eloquent… His sensitivity to the music he makes is extraordinary…I am chilled to the bone listening to his fluid playing.”

” A true Chopin genius, reminiscent of Arthur Rubinstein”