A musician of prodigious technique and genuine insight, whose feel for a musical gesture is extraordinary. The playing is hair-rising… and there are few pianists of any age who could range as broadly through the repertory as Mr. Katsaris does here… Standing ovations are not rare, probably not as rare as they ought to be. But it is still unusual to see the whole hall rise in quick unison as the last chord is played, and that is what happened when Cyprien Katsaris finished his program… Mr. Katsaris was enormously impressive…
The New York Times
What is particularly impressive is his gift of contemplation… One is forced to fall in with him on philosophical terms… Here is a genuine thinker at the piano… It almost sounded like a time machine had taken us back to the best of the golden age pianists… It was quite an ovation, but then, it had been quite a recital!
San Francisco Chronicle
Hands that speak and sing.
The Washington Post
Cyprien Katsaris, whose approach to the Brahms B flat Concerto was highly individual… (He) stressed the work’s lyricism… Consider those famous double octaves in the second movement that are supposed to go so very fast so very softly. Katsaris played them with a wonderful ghostly fleetness that was breathtaking… Katsaris was strong enough and Dohnanyi sensitive enough to strike a general balance. If you think of this concerto as a contest for supremacy between piano and orchestra, the match was rather more even in this performance than in most.
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
(Referring to the Concerto no. 3 by Beethoven and the Second Concerto by Brahms:) The impression was authentic, faithful to the composer and, above all, exciting.
Chicago Sun Times
His performance was extraordinary… The enthusiastic audience leapt to a standing ovation at the conclusion.
(Referring to the recording of “In Memoriam Chopin” live at Carnegie Hall:) Katsaris’s use of a performance style which was common in earlier generations… One is always hearing unfamiliar textures in the music. But none of this is an intellectual exercise. The playing is full of impulse and life; it also has richer textures than most Chopin interpreters provide. He inflects his tempos… But he doesn’t disrupt the flow of the music… Do hear this outstanding Chopin collection.
We have found in Cyprien Katsaris a genuine lyrical tenor of the piano. His gift is nothing less than that.
A phenomenal pianist with imagination.
American Record Guide
The trick to great Liszt playing once you’ve got all the notes down is to imply that there’s more than meets the ear. Katsaris is very successful at this, just as Liszt himself must have been…
This record (“Katsaris live”, Teldec) may move more than a few listeners who like to make such comparisons to invoke the name of Horowitz as well as those of Bolet and Wild.
His technique is phenomenal. He is a Mozartian of impeccable refinement, a Bach player of exceptional distinction, a Chopin player who can hold his own against all corners, and a Schumann player to the manner born.
Katsaris carried the listener convincingly over into the Schubertian dream world with its evocations of both rapture and death caught to perfection… His colour palette had an extraordinary range… The kind of stylistic sensitivity which exaggerates nothing and accomplishes everything…
(Referring to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle:) The performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto was notable for the complete liaison of the soloist Cyprien Katsaris and the orchestra, so that we had, as is not always the case with this work a deeply satisfying homogeneity of piano and orchestral sound. A “concerto” sound in fact, in the older and more precise meaning of the term.
The ability to add a new dimension to the interpretation of a great music is only found in the higher echelons of artists, and the Liszt, the Schumann and the Ravel works showed this soloist’s ability and mature understanding.
The Birmingham Post
A staggering tour de force of sensational pianism and interpretative insight, reminiscent of the “golden age”… Katsaris just has to be heard to be believed… His eloquence, brilliance and, above all, sense of timing leave one weak with admiration…
A truly memorable Kinderszenen (Schumann), and a revelatory Messiaen Regard de l’Église d’amour…
(Referring to Mozart’s concertos:) What remarkable playing from Katsaris… If one can imagine the pearly purity of Perahia grafted onto the joy and spontaneity of Barenboïm in his EMI cycle, you get some idea of what to expect. K. 482 is particularly impressive in this respect. Katsaris never holds the music at arm’s length, and the overall impression is of a stream of magically inflected seamless poetics, highlighted by a skintingling pianissimo touch.
(Referring to “In Memoriam Chopin” live at Carnegie Hall:) By any standards a masterly recital…
Regarding performances of these works (concertos by Bach) on the piano: “And why not?” providing they are as good as these by Katsaris… It is not so much his dazzling keyboard command but the Beethovenian vehemence and dramatic fire that make this so convincing… (Katsaris) demonstrates an affinity with Brahms’s style that is very compelling… His playing compares favorably with that of Lupu and Rubinstein…
(Referring to Chopin’s 4 ballades and 4 scherzos:) An impressive achievement for all concerned… In all eight works the technical hurdles are faced squarely and overcome with a completeness that is unsurpassed elsewhere…
In the Chopin preludes… Katsaris’s playing is as dazzling as ever… even Martha Argerich will have to look to her laurels in no. 16 where Katsaris is just as vertiginous but more controlled… Yet there is plenty of finesse… Katsaris leaves you with the impression that there are two or more pianists at the keyboard, such is his ability to conjure up a variety of orchestral timbres.
Simply astonishing! Apart from his dazzling technique, Katsaris has enormous musicianship, a great sense of colour and a real sense of scale… His performance is undoubtedly thrilling… The Andante spianato (Chopin) is gentle and poetic…
The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs
The legendary pianist, Cyprien Katsaris.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich
He follows in the footsteps of those great lions of the piano, Leopold Godowsky and Serge Rachmaninov.
Not since the young Vladimir Horowitz enchanted his audiences in the 1920’s, has there been a pianist who has such a keyboard sovereignty and bravura.
(On his performance at the “Klavier Festival Ruhr”, the world’s largest piano festival, July 1998:) The Ruhr piano festival has found its master. For four weeks, the world class of the piano elite has been performing here… And along comes a cheerful artist like Cyprien Katsaris and outshines them all! … Katsaris is different from the others: the self-confident heir to a glorious piano century.
Cyprien Katsaris and his sensational concert… The Gods and all the muses of Greece seemed to be with this artist, who brought his audience, with his light hands and playful manner, to an “intoxicating” level of enthusiasm… Katsaris developed all the contradictory characteristics of this poetic work (Brahms, Sonata no. 3, op. 5) with creative calm and mastery.
Die Welt, Hamburg
The poetic power of a Mozartian interpretation… One of the best Mozart interpreters of our time… It’s easy to establish a comparison with the modesty of Clara Haskil or the transcendent obsession of Michelangeli, on the condition that one is able to imagine such a fusion. This explains the why of his so moving Mozart.
Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin
Chopin played masterfully… Ovations for a world-class pianist.
(Referring to a Mozart concert with Sandor Végh and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra:) The main work of the evening was the Concerto K. 414. This was a celebration rather than a performance by soloist Cyprien Katsaris. It was a feast of formal beauty; its most outstanding quality was the mastery and culture of his subtle touch. He played as an encore his own “In Memoriam Mozart”, a pastiche à la Mozart, really making the keyboard sing. The audience enjoyed two hours of “loyalty to the world of Mozart”.
(On the seventh programme of the complete Mozart piano concertos cycle, April 1998, Salzburg :) A palatable concert as are few. Katsaris interprets Mozart’s concertos with a light, incredibly transparent tone… One can really make music with such a soloist… An exceptional level of interpretation.
… the stormy applause rose to dimensions which have only rarely been reached in this place.
Katsaris must be considered in the lineage of Rachmaninov, Horowitz and Cziffra.
Hifi Video Test
Supernatural technique… Unusual musical energy.
Diapason, “The 100 pianists of the century”
A unique pianist… Creativity of a genius… The playing of Katsaris is highly personal… The music flows in an uninterrupted and magical way… Far removed from the academic and pasteurised ideals too often celebrated in the present day, Katsaris displays, once again, that he is one of the keyboard geniuses of our time.
Piano Le Magazine
It is not an exaggeration to proclaim that Katsaris is the first Greek pianist to obtain the stature of a Callas or a Mitropoulos.
I Kathimerini (The Daily), Athens
Such a playing, such a talent, cannot be learnt. This is a gift from God.
Moskovskii Komsomoliets, Moscow
These readings (Bach) stand squarely beside the familiar Glenn Gould performances… Readings (Beethoven and Schubert sonatas) of great depth and maturity… It is a measure of Katsaris’s magnetic qualities as a performer that the audience sat as still as a grave… They were mesmerized.
The Ottawa Citizen
The Cyprien Katsaris phenomenon… Every one of his performances is indeed a unique musical experience… It is therefore not surprising that a Katsaris cult is developing in this country.
The Japan Times
No other pianist excels his virtuosity, although there are so many “virtuosi” about. He has created a new chapter in the repertoire and performance of piano music… His interpretation of this multi-faceted music (Schumann’s Kinderszenen) was superbly delicate and it was as if he was sitting in the mind of the composer himself.
The typhoon season is over in Japan. Figuratively speaking, however, a musical typhoon has been sweeping this country during the past few weeks. The name of this typhoon is Cyprien Katsaris… After he has swept the stage of the concert hall a bright sun rises and illuminates our aural vision. We have become musically wiser and spiritually content. It is partly for these reasons that Cyprien Katsaris has become one of the knowledgeable Japanese public’s favorite pianists.
Mainichi Daily News
Those fortunate enough to have heard him in Hong Kong will never forget… Katsaris’s very unique genius.
A recital by pianist Cyprien Katsaris is a major experience. He uses his technique at all times to serve his musical needs. His style is impeccable… The rest is his own brand of magic which defies analysis…Mr. Katsaris’s wizardry must have equalled Liszt’s own.
South China Morning Post