Performed with demon precision and complete dedication by the piano duo of Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers, these arrangements by Igor Stravinsky tell us a lot about the composer’s intentions and the really striking qualities that have made the ballets Petrushka and The Rite of Spring of enduring importance in the modern repertoire." — Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta (August 2017)
After intermission, the orchestra rolled out the Steinway and invited Marina Lomazov to join them for a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18, a piece whose effusion signalled the young composer’s deliverance from a severe bout with depression. Lomazov played the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1 in New Bedford five years ago – to great effect – and her return engagement was much anticipated. In the first measures, the resonant tolling of the deepest bells on the piano promised a tour de force in the making, and throughout it seemed that her mellifluous left hand was inspiring her right hand to greater heights in artistry...a formidable task! At the end, the audience stood in appreciation and demanded an encore: Rachmaninoff’s Prelude, Op. 32, No. 12, a shimmering song, full of foreboding and longing." — Benjamin Dunham, Mattapoisett (April 4, 2015)
That might be the understatement of the year. Yes, Marina Lomazov certainly did play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B minor, but she did so much more. She breathed life and passion into the music’s very existence, digging deep into the marrow of its musical bones. Following the outline of its three movements, Ms. Lomazov, the Ira McKissick Koger professor of piano at the University of South Carolina, played with great majesty in the famous introduction, fast and high-spirited in the first movement, even faster in the second. She practically set the piano afire in the Allegro con fuoco of the third movement. She played with high drama and strength that threatened to overpower the entire orchestra. Mix astonishing technique with perfect accuracy and impeccably satisfying musicality. That’s the way Marina plays Tchaikovsky." — Greg Barnes, The Free Times (November 17, 2014)
The start of the (Gireg) concerto was so exciting the audience could not resist applauding after the first movement. The short second movement, with its deceptive cadences and elongated melodic lines, was beautifully rendered by Lomazov and Butterman (in close collaboration). Brandon Nichols on horn often took the lead with his sweet, flowing lines. The concerto ended in a mad fury, with strains of Nordic folk music – its rhythmic thump-thump in the left hand and vivid figures in the right – informing the last movement. You might guess it prompted a standing ovation, the kind of response that’s impossible to suppress." — Adam Parker, The Post and Courier (April 5, 2014)
A keyboard sorceress" — Lindsay Koob, Charleston City Paper (April 4, 2014)
The speed with which the audience lept to their feet demonstrated how impressed they were…. The versatility of the piano as a solo instrument could not have been better highlighted and emphasized." — Robert W. Plyler, Jamestown Post-Journal (November 2, 2013)
These Blue River Variations (by John Fitz Rogers) are smoothly integrated, each eliding with the next… The keyboard writing shows the skilled hand of an experienced pianist, and the work is played here magnificently by the Ukrainian Marina Lomazov, for whom it was written." — Walter Simmons, Fanfare (November, 2012)
Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto ended the program and a fine ending it was with Marina Lomazov… It’s hard to stay away from words like 'dazzling' and 'stunning' when you try to describe her playing. Her technique is impeccable." — Greg Barnes, Columbia Free Times (November 16, 2012)
…definitive and sensitive performances by Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov, whose technique was put to good use… No one could resist this star turn by the attractive young soloist…" — Richard Storm, Sarasota Herald Tribune (May 21, 2012)
Pianist Marina Lomazov’s dazzling account of Francis Poulenc’s rarely heard Piano Concerto at the Peace Center Friday night made you wonder why this delightful piece is not performed more often." — Paul Hyde, Greenville News (April 14, 2012)
The pianist Marina Lomazov was dazzling in Nikolai Kapustin’s perpetual-motion, stylistically eclectic 'Concert Étude No.8 (1984)'. Ms. Lomazov also played 'The Body of Your Dreams,' a fresh and fanciful piece by Jacob Ter Veldhuis, composed in 2003. It is written for piano and a boom box soundtrack that takes phrases and words from a breathlessly enthusiastic commercial for a fitness program promising tight abs and a dream physique. The piano part is a kind of busy but oddly breezy toccata, with melodic flights and chord patterns that often cleverly match the word patterns." — Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times (May 25, 2011)
More jazz influences closed the evening on a dazzling note with Marina Lomazov tackling Kapustin’s Variations, a monster of sharp edges tumbling over each other. Kapustin is not for the squeamish, but from Lomazov’s ultra-cool reading, she has nothing to be afraid of." — Bruce Hodges, MusicWeb International (March 25, 2010)
Is there a more famous opening theme in all music than the riveting piano figure that launches the Grieg concerto? Beethoven’s fifth symphony, maybe a few other pieces. Lomazov electrified the audience with a fiery attack of the familiar opening bars of the old war horse’s first movement, the Allegro molto moderato, then filled Southern Oregon University’s Music Recital Hall with rippling cascades of crescendos. Seeming to strike sparks off, she segued without a pause into the poetic and rather hushed second movement, the Moderato, which she played with a meditative lyricism. The final movement, the Allegro, nods at the environment of Norway and throws in some folksy influences. If it seemed to stand somewhat apart from the first two movements, Lomazov clearly relished it. She played with punch, her long fingers moving nimbly over the big Steinway, her short hair flying as her body jerked to the crescendos. The audience responded by refusing to let her off the stage for intermission." — Bill Varble, Mail Tribune (May 20, 2010)
Marina Lomazov closed the program with Carter Pann's 'Three Strokes' (2000) and William Bloom's Serpent's Kiss' (1969), works with an academic connection: Mr. Pann was a student of Mr. Bolcom's. In Mr. Pann's work a lyrical movement of childlike simplicity is framed by steely toned, rhythmically sharp-edged, almost mechanistic movements. Mr. Bolcom's piece is more lighthearted: hints of ragtime and late-19th-century salon styles are intertwined with virtuosic figuration and theatrical effects (tapping the piano and whistling, for example). In Ms. Lomazov's outgoing performance the work’s tongue-in-cheek turns made their point, drawing laughter mixed with admiration for both Mr. Bolcom's and Ms. Lomazov's comic deftness." — Allan Kozinn, The New York Times (May 20, 2009)
John Fitz Rogers’s Variations (2003) arrived at the same world — half new, half old — but by an opposite strategy. Ragtime, waltz time, even rhythm and blues provided the variety here. Interspersed were crashing scales and chords parodying Liszt in his bloviating mode. Mr. Rogers loves the piano’s upper territory and its capacity for bright, reflective light. Marina Lomazov’s big-boned virtuosity served him handsomely." — Bernard Holland, The New York Times (May 27, 2008)
Marina Lomazov’s outstanding performance Tuesday opened the 17th season of the International Piano Series at the College of Charleston in the Scottile Theater. (Lomazov) began with Debussy’s 'Images', Book I. Lomazov brought particular delicacy to it’s opening 'Reflets dans l’Eau', and her brilliant dexterity made the concluding 'Mouvement' a sparkling dazzler… The piano music of Rodion Shchedrin is not frequently heard in this country, though his orchestral scores surface occasionally, but Lomazov made one wish to hear again the suite from 'The Humpbacked Horse', originally a ballet score. The folk-like 'Girls Roundelay' and the jazz-infused 'Scherzino' movements were especially delightful. 'Basso Ostinato' seemed like an expressionist film score – one heard echoes of Prokofiev and Moussorgsky." — George Hubbard, The Post and Courier (January 2007)
Lomazov was mesmerizing to watch and a delight to the ear as she led the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor… So ferocious was the pace that Lomazov was near impossible to watch while her fingers moved with superhuman speed… An audible 'wow' was heard from the audience in the brief moment before the closing allegro… Members of the audience began to lean forward in their own seats as she reached the magnificent climax of the concerto and sparked the room to their feet with the final note." — Steven Sabel, San Bernardino Sun (October 2005)
Lomazov’s majestic sweep and passionate conviction made this concert (Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto) individual and memorable… Her performance created a frenzied standing ovation at its conclusion." — William Furtwangler, The Post and Courier (June 2005)
One of the many remarkable things about Lomazov’s playing is how she makes every nuance seem perfectly natural and absolutely right. In Lomazov’s hands the second-movement Andante (Shostakovich Concerto No. 2) was gorgeous, the soft notes glistening in the air as she flowed over the keys. Her performance was affectionate and personal, like an intimate moment shared with a lover – perfect for this Valentine’s weekend concert. The audience returned the emotion with an immediate and universal standing ovation, summoning Lomazov for numerous curtain calls: they just couldn’t get enough of her." — The State (February 2005)
Lomazov’s performance was a winning combination of vitality, technique and artistry. Her vigorous playing actually seemed almost effortless at times, her fingers shimmering over the keyboard and coaxing cascades of sound… It was simply the best piano playing I have ever witnessed" — Phil Melita, The State (September 2003)
Marina Lomazov gave the well-known work (Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1) thrilling dimensions with dazzling fingerwork throughout, remarkable power in the more assertive crescendos and subtle poetry in the quieter passages. She astonished her enraptured audience with a memorably strong performance of the great work." — Eugene Jones, The State (October 2002)
Marina Lomazov thrilled the overflow crowd with power and charm. Her slender figure conceals great tensile strength of backbone and forearms, which fully supported an enormous range of dynamics and of tone color, and made her performance riveting both to watch and to hear." — Bruce Carr, The Register (February 2002)
Marina Lomazov is certainly one of the best young pianists in America today. She plays with fire in her fingers and such a passion for the music that she carries the audience into a land of musical fantasy, like few pianists do." — Tom Nichols, Gainesville Times (April 2002)
Her playing was of the highest order of musical excellence. Uncommonly talented, powerful and splendidly accomplished interpreter of whatever music she chooses to perform." — Chisholm Gentry, The Key West Citizen (January 2002)
It was a performance that accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of utterly redefining one of the most familiar works in the piano repertoire (Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1)." — Jon Lehman, The Patriot Ledger (October 2001)
In recent months the Myra Hess concert series has shown us a succession of outstandingly gifted pianists. Calling any one of them the best yet is a bit rash, but it is tempting to say that about Marina Lomazov. Her concert June 27 was simply spectacular. Technical power and brilliance can be expected from Russian-trained pianists, but not many combine them with this high degree of musicality." — Dan Tucker, International Music Foundation Website (July 2001)
No pianist performing in Key West has ever played better or more brilliantly than lavishly gifted and dynamically self-confident Ms. Lomazov." — Ray Baker, The Key West Citizen (November 2000)
…Lomazov put a real individual stamp on this familiar music (Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1)…" — T.J.Medrek, Boston Herald (June 2000)
It is easy to make the piano sing. Making it cry is far more difficult. But that’s exactly what Ukrainian-born pianist Marina Lomazov did… Execution of dazzling musicianship that demanded not only superior piano technique but also the intelligence to conceive of the music’s framework and the emotional range to carry it off." — Harold Duckett, The Knoxville News-Sentinel (January 2000)
Lomazov has a velvet touch… (Her) fingers were amazingly independent, creating an enormous spectrum in her sound palette. Lomazov has a captivating demeanor to her playing… Lomazov was turbocharged with Beethoven’s Op. 111 C Minor Sonata. Her steely fingers sparkled fireworks. When the music required Lomazov to sing, she proved herself a diva of the piano." — Jeff Manookian, The Salt Lake City Tribune (July 1998)
…a mesmerizing risk-taker… an extroverted pianist who blends emotional zeal with superb control… Lomazov gave the most remarkable performance… (of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano concerto). She was poised, confident and heroic and brought an ebullience to the final movement of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto we don’t often hear from pianists of renown." — Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer (August 1995)