Home Page Celebrating Greg Greg's Biography Reviews Greg's Performance Schedule Photos Concert Programs International Projects Teaching Archives Humanitarian Work Contact Greg McCallum Memorial Scholarship Endowment Recordings
Greg McCallum

Reviews of Greg McCallum

"Chopin’s lovely Barcarolle in F-sharp, Op. 60, served to launch the bicentennial year (it’s the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth) in a big way. McCallum introduced it amusingly, talking about the music’s depiction of falling in love in a boat; chances are no one who heard this explanation will ever think of this score in the same way again! The realization was splendid, and if it helped spark interest in all the future performances this year, so much the better.

After the intermission, the second book of Debussy’s Images really did point the way to Messiaen. McCallum clearly felt these quasi-Oriental pieces deeply, and his solid technique facilitated his impressive realizations of the three numbers – “Cloches à travers les feuilles,” “Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut,” and the ever-magical “Poissons d'or.” It may have astonished some in attendance that an American pianist could so convincingly bring this music to life, but McCallum has paid his dues – including spending time in France – and all who hear him are the fortunate beneficiaries."     Classical Voice of North Carolina ~ January 2010

"Mr. McCallum is a solid musician eager to make a connection with his audience... The highlight of the recital's first half was Scarlatti's Sonata in A Major, K. 208. Here, McCallum drew the line with deep and pure intention allied with the most expressive of rubati. I was grateful that all repeats were played, as I didn't want it to end... ["Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues" (1979) by the American Frederic Rzewski] Tone clusters of accumulating density and rhythmic pattern mimic sound and feel of mechanical looms; the work is quite horrifying in what it cooks up and McCallum caught its spirit dead-on and threw it out to us in all its heat and dread. McCallum was no less convincing in the wonderful, slow blues that make up the mid-section."    New York Concert Review Inc. ~ Summer 2005

"We've been high on Greg McCallum for a long time – back to Spectator days, indeed. As an artist, he's among our very best players, his programs are to die for, his CDs – there are three of them, with more on the way – are superior products, technically and musically, too, and his heart is immense... The program, titled "World Quilt for Peace," was pure McCallum, which is to say that it was varied, diverse, richly rewarding, and thematically linked... The concert ended with a work that may be McCallum's signature song, Frederic Rzewski's "Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues." It brought the substantial audience to its feet in a lengthy and fervent demonstration of admiration and gratitude...Greg McCallum is a superb player whose work invariably touches the minds and souls of his listeners. There's a human being beneath his technical prowess, and that humanity is reflected in nearly everything he undertakes... It doesn't get any better than this."    Classical Voice of North Carolina ~ April 2005

"A high energy performance...McCallum is credited for bringing classical and other kinds of piano music to new audiences with his charismatic commentary and thoughtful programs. He is doing more than that, though, by unlocking the true value of these compositions, which is insight into ourselves and our history. No wonder, then, that the audience came away Sunday afternoon happy, beguiled, and wanting more of what Greg McCallum had to offer."    Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise ~ November 1999

“…This outstanding young artist clearly has a passion for music…his performances were invariably compelling and all were rapturously received. There is much about him that is both unusual and exciting. He has adopted an approach—several approaches, indeed—to music making that break new ground in terms of outreach and inclusiveness, and his audiences reflect his cultural and social diversity…McCallum’s approach is like a breath of fresh air.”    Classical Voice of North Carolina (www.cvnc.org) ~ September 2001

"...Gregory McCallum and Wissam Boustany don't just play music, they become music."    The Independent ~ August 1999

"McCallum is a true romantic, and he demonstrated this again in four of the Lyric Pieces by Edvard Grieg. His expressive playing was especially evident in the bleak Evening in the Mountains, which describes the loneliness of the winter darkness in the Norwegian highlands, and the popular March of the Trolls, where McCallum's powerful left hand gave a fiendish cast to the troll's eerie and enticing dance."    The Independent ~ August 1999

“Franck’s Sonata was even more impressive… this Still-McCallum rendition was breathtaking in its clarity and transparency. It was, in fact, the finest performance of the flute-and-piano version we have yet heard.”    The Spectator Online ~ November 2000

“The program began with a glowing performance of Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata, one of the master’s happiest, brightest works. McCallum and Pritchard had not previously worked together, but the partnership seemed exceedingly pleasant for both. Each interpolated a few interpretive touches that made the reading seem fresh, and there was close interaction between them.”    The Spectator Online ~ May 2000

“…played with consummate technical and artistic skill.”    The Spectator Online ~ January 2001

"It's that kind of imaginative programming -- and that sort of expanded world-view, too -- that sets McCallum apart from many of his peers...he has become one of our region's most innovative performers."    The Spectator ~ August 1998

"...a most enjoyable concert featuring music created right here in the South...enjoyed by a capacity crowd of people who stood in line for an hour just to get a seat."    The Chapel Hill News ~ August 1998

"...McCallum is an outstanding communicator whose commentary adds much to the enjoyment of his concerts...The four preludes from Debussy's Book II were performed with outstanding sensitivity...Held the audience spellbound...An excellent musician with great sensitivity to each composer's musical idiom."    Independent Weekly ~ April 1997

"...Spirited music-making."    Frankfurter Allgemeinische Zeitung, Frankfurt, Germany ~ 1987

"Chopin's familiar Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise proved dazzling...A fascinating work by Frederic Rzewski began the second half: Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues...created a powerful and dramatic effect in its imitation of mill sounds."    The Spectator ~ May 1998

"Sports et Divertissements by Eric Satie was delightfully performed by McCallum. The varying moods...required much nimbleness of fingers and a variety of dynamics that the artist admirably supplied...McCallum's playing was sensitive to the changing subtleties of the music."    The News and Observer ~ 1998

"...In his performance of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto, McCallum demonstrated an outstanding technical facility...deeply felt, sensitive playing."    Die Main Post, Wurzburg, Germany ~ July 1988

"...Powerful musicianship...An artist with tremendous potential...Chopin preludes were realized with flair."    Spectator Magazine ~ April 1997

"...He played with verve and spirit...A colossal performance...Exceedingly moving."     The Chapel Hill News ~ April 1995

Click here to download the Word document.


© Greg McCallum 2002-2016