Every now and then, if all too infrequently, an artist emerges whose communicative powers are so vivid and compelling as to sweep listeners off their feet. Jonathan Tsay, a pianist whose larger-than-life musical temperament, interpretive probity, and communicative gifts are as charismatic and authentic as it gets, is just such an artist. I have rarely if ever been so consistently impressed by any pianist, as his playing has everything: passion, poetry, warmth, intensity, fantasy, imagination, color, effortless lyricism, and an unerring intelligence that never fails to move and stimulate us. Tsay's music making is of the highest order, at once spontaneous and free, though no less emotionally honest and disciplined in every category: technical, interpretive, and textual. The young Tsay is an heir to the artistic legacy of Schnabel, Michelangeli, and Cortot, but also to the suave musical agenda of von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, and van Beinum; indeed, his approach is nothing if not conductorial, and in his hands, the piano blossoms into the most luxurious orchestra. Such comprehensive mastery and rigorous integrity, so wholly absent of any gimmickry or public relations ploys that would dare to promote it, is special enough nowadays, to speak of nothing of affecting for its sincerity and largesse. That said, Jonathan Tsay is the genuine article, whose name and playing deserve a place of esteem in the hearts and libraries of music lovers everywhere. I cannot recommend him highly enough.

John Bell Young, author, critic, pianist