ARNALDO COHEN – Brazil
The Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen, now living in the United States, has long had a reputation for astonishing his audiences with the musical authority and blistering virtuosity of his performances. He has appeared regularly as soloist with major orchestras, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His solo recitals everywhere draw enthusiastic crowds of cognoscenti. Critics, too, marvel at his mixture of musical complexity and élan.
“A model of balance and imagination” was Steve Smith’s verdict in his review of Mr. Cohen’s Town Hall recital in The New York Times.
Mr. Cohen performed Brahms’ Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with the Milwaukee Symphony and was reviewed by Tom Strini of the Milwaukee Journal: “The combination of technical command and expressive insight he demonstrated Friday is every musician’s goal.”
After performing a recital in Philadelphia, Mr. Cohen drew the following praise from distinguished critic David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Cohen has the smarts, the emotional presence, and the technique of a major Chopin interpreter. Unlike many similarly exciting pianists, Cohen has built a loyal public with his annual Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concerts by presenting new variations on himself at every visit.”
And, in the words of no less a piano authority than former New York Times critic the late Harold C. Schonberg: “First of all there is his sound — a burnished, unforced bronze-like sound somewhat in the Rachmaninoff manner. In a day when so many pianists sound bleak and percussive, Cohen produces a big sound that never splinters and is capable of any kind of nuance. He understands the pedals. He has a world-class technique. His playing, color and all, has text-book clarity. And he understands the Romantic style.”
After winning First Prize at the 1972 Busoni International Competition, in Italy, Mr. Cohen scored a triumph at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Soon after he moved to London and went on to build a repertoire of some 50 concertos and to perform with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome, collaborating with conductors Kurt Masur, Kurt Sanderling, Klaus Tennstedt, and Yehudi Menuhin (who described Cohen as “one of the greatest pianists I have ever heard”).