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Richard Harwood


Cello Lessons

Live Concert Reviews | header

John Gilroy, Cambridge Independent (November 6th, 2018)
"Next followed a beautiful presentation of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme (1877) with acclaimed cello soloist, Richard Harwood. The Variations owe their stylistic form to Mozart but the work is unmistakably Russian, especially in the periodic haunting wind instrument passages.

The exquisite tone in Richard Harwood’s hands of his late seventeenth-century Rugeri cello was particularly noticeable, supplementing the beauty of the composer’s melodic gift in this deeply expressive work. Richard rewarded the packed audience’s enthusiasm with a Bach Sarabande as encore."


Mike Levy, The Cambridge Critique (November 5th, 2018)
"The soloist Richard Harwood – calm and unshowy – was the master of Tchaikovsky’s mix of elegance and playful joy. Redmond brought forth the full colour palette of this concert favourite. Harwood offered a welcome encore – a Bach sarabande which brought a long first half to a close.


Andrew Larkin, Bachtrack (October 28th, 2018)
"Possessing a sweet, intimate tone, Harwood tackled this work with consummate ease delivering the filigree with laser-like intonation. He impressed with the intensity of his vibrato on the higher notes. The NSO were very sensitive not to overpower him, even when the music grew more animated. There was a lovely moment where Harwood made the final notes of the first movement vanish into the ether, keeping us in suspense.

Harwood imbued the second movement Largo with a touching sadness that was not forced but emanated from the music itself. As the agitation subsided, Harwood spun the thread of his melody, unfurling each note with loving care. Shyly emerging from the threnody, the third movement bubbled over with effervescence. Harwood nimbly dispatched the bravura moments here while he brought the piece to a satisfying conclusion."


Frank Cliff, Eastern Daily Press (October 16th, 2018)
"Richard Harwood was the distinguished young cello soloist in the Elgar concerto, giving a perfectly controlled performance, the magical slow movement very fine, brilliant virtuoso playing in the scherzo, and beautifully judging the return of the slow movement theme at the end of the finale, with Pope providing a sympathetic accompaniment.


Roy Westbrook, Bachtrack (June 8th, 2017)
"Tchaikovsky’s Second Piano Concerto is hardly omnipresent in the concert hall either – unlike the veteran soloist John Lill, one of whose repertoire of eighty concertos this happens to be...We were given the full original text, not Siloti’s truncated diminution of the work, so we had the whole of the great, slow movement. This is at times almost a piano trio, so extensive and demanding are the parts for the orchestra’s principal violin and cello. These were wonderfully well-given by Duncan Ridell and Richard Harwood.


David Nice (October 11th, 2016)
"Steven Isserlis and Olli Mustonen may be the better-known names, and their Wigmore lunchtime programme of Schumann and Prokofiev much more familiar, but Richard Harwood in his solo recital on the last day of the West Malling Festival had equal ingenuity in his concert planning and no less soul in his playing."



Tim Isard, (January 31st, 2016)
"He welcomed on to the stage the young cellist Richard Harwood who proceeded to give an impeccable performance of the concerto very ably accompanied by the orchestra. What a talent this cellist has, his interpretation was sublime and the tone he produced helped him soar effortlessly above the orchestra. Note the name of this soloist, he is going places!.


Michael Dervan, The Irish Times (April 16th, 2014)
"The latest of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s Essential Classics programmes (NCH, Wednesday) found conductor John Wilson in thrusting form. It sounded at times in Tchaikovksy’s Sleeping Beauty Suite and Sibelius’s Finlandia as if he would have liked the brass to have had some kind of external contraption to allow for a turbo effect. The most intriguing performance, however, was of the Elgar Cello Concerto, in which soloist Richard Harwood followed an unusual, soft-spoken path."


Owen Campbell-Moore, (May 4th, 2011)
"This was an exceptional finale fit for an exceptional festival, neither to be missed.


Badener Zeitung (April 1st, 2009)
"Cellosolist Richard Harwood begeisterte beim 4. Abonnementkonzert der Sinfonietta Baden im Festsaal des Congress Casinos Baden mit Joseph Haydns Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester Hob. VII:b1...Ein Rising-Star der Musikszene...Mit dem Werk, das spätbarocke Züge trägt, begeisterte Harwood das Badener Konzertpublikum. Traumwandlerisch meisterte er die hohen Lagen des Soloparts und beeindruckte besonders mit dem schwierigen kantablen zweiten Satz."

"Cello soloist Richard Harwood was inspirational in Sinfonietta Baden's 4th subscription concert in the Festival Hall of the Congress Casino Baden with Joseph Haydn's Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra Hob. VII:b1...A rising star of the music scene...In this work, which has late baroque features, Harwood enthralled the Badener audience. He mastered the high passages of the solo part with somnambulistic instinctive accuracy and was especially impressive in the difficult cantabiles of the second movement."


Hilary Finch, The Times (May 22nd, 2008)
"The night before, more mysticism at a Messiaen Anniversary Concert. The French composer was honoured in a performance of his Quatuor pour la fin du temps, played with robust commitment by Finghin Collins (piano), Elizabeth Cooney (violin), Richard Harwood (cello) and Carol McGonnell (clarinet). And for those players, the Belfast-born composer Ian Wilson had written a “setting” of the Gabriel Garcia Márquez short story, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.

With Gavin Friday as narrator, it received its UK premiere in a packed Corn Exchange: sand-ripples of meandering lines and sea-sprays of song and tremolo, in a cunning score that never upstaged, but was as impassioned as the words themselves."


William Dart, New Zealand Herald (March 13th, 2008)
"The first instalment of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's Lion Foundation Twilight Series was a cracker of a concert, even if audience numbers were undeniably disappointing for an event that, in London, could have filled the Wigmore Hall.

From the first exquisitely moulded phrases of Schumann's Adagio and Allegro Opus 70, it was clear that cellist Richard Harwood and pianist Caroline Almonte were a partnership blessed by Parnassus.

The major work before interval was the Brahms E minor Sonata. Territory was tenaciously defined in the opening bars, with the clarity of the first theme leading inevitably to more athletic adventures in the movement's development section.

The cellist's own programme notes suggested that the minuet of the second movement only toys with being a dance; yet the litheness of this rendition, even in the dreamier ambience of the Trio, would have brought a smile to the face of Terpsichore herself.

Shostakovich's D minor Sonata led off the second half of the evening. After an Allegro moderato in which lyricism was adroitly tempered with simplicity, the second movement was almost unbearably exciting as Harwood and Almonte ran the gamut from Firebird filigree to spine-tingling frenzy.

After a Largo that made one realise the souls of Shostakovich and Rachmaninov shared the same motherland, the work ended with a Finale which did full justice to the "Haydnesque and hectic" that Harwood had signalled in his notes.

Frank Bridge's only Sonata of 1917 poignantly caught the spirit of the same war that hung over Elgar's Cello Concerto. No resources, physical or emotional, were untapped in the full-on dramatic Allegro. The pair expertly explored the many changing moods of the second movement, from its arresting opening, with Harwood's dissonant entries stabbing into the brooding piano textures through to the optimistic major glow of its final moments.

An encore of Rachmaninov's Vocalise was generous after such a demanding programme and so persuasively delivered that one could quite happily have heard this over-familiar salon piece again."


William Dart, New Zealand Herald (July 2nd, 2007)
"English cellist Richard Harwood was a first-rate soloist."

Andrew Cleary, The News - Portsmouth (March 31st, 2006)
"Richard Harwood made a welcome return to play the Dvorak concerto....Richard's playing was dazzling, his energy and technique exploiting both the rich cantabile melodies and the more spirited nationalistic folk-dance passages."


William Ruff, Nottingham Evening Post (March 2006)
"Elgar's Cello Concerto has plenty of emotional intensity, too, especially when played by soloist Richard Harwood. It was a performance which sensitively balanced the work's melancholy introspection with its more extrovert and exuberant moments. Armed with a brilliant technique and probing musical insight, Harwood is clearly destined to become one of our brightest young musical stars."


Annette Morreau, The Independent (January 18th, 2005)
"an awesome talent"

"His Beethoven Op5 No1 was one of the finest performances I've heard. It's young-style Beethoven and Harwood perfectly caught the freshness and delicacy of this sonata."


Hilary Finch, The Times (January 17th, 2005)
"FIRM intellectual control, smooth tone, easy technique, and a classical turn of phrase. That’s how the Grove Dictionary of Music describes the great French cellist Pierre Fournier. But it could equally well be a thumbnail sketch of 25-year-old Richard Harwood, the winner of the 2004 Pierre Fournier Award."



Paul Driver, The Sunday Times (January 16th, 2005)
"At the fest's other sonic extreme, the Endellions were joined by the violist Predrag Katanic and the cellist Richard Harwood in a magnificent realisation of the sublimely elaborate textures of Brahms's B flat sextet."


Manus Carey, Musical Opinion (Jan/Feb 2005)
"There are some recitals after which the reviewer feels the inadequacy of words to do full justice in describing the artists' mesmerising power over the listeners. Richard Harwood and Connie Shih's Cello and Piano recital in the Purcell Room on 18 October was such an occasion."


Leipziger Volkszeitung (July 18th, 2004)
"Die meisterte der 24-jährige Brite Richard Harwood beispielsweise gestern Vormittag mit erstaunlicher Innigkeit und legt damit die Latte für die Konkurrenz extrem hoch. Für manchen Nachfolger zu hoch..."

"The brilliant 24-year-old Britain Richard Harwood set an example yesterday morning, playing with astounding profundity and, with it, set the bar for the competition extremely high. For many of those following him, this bar was set too high..."


The Strad (February 2004)
"Harwood performed sonatas by Beethoven and Barber with great aplomb. The former's Sonata in D major op.102 no.2 was elegant, fresh and laced with a passion that was never overdone."


The Oxford Times (July 11th, 2003)
Review of July 4th Sophie's Silver Lining Festival concert


West Sussex County Times (November 29, 2002)
"The second piece of the evening was Schumann's 'Cello Concerto in A minor. Richard Harwood was the 'cellist. From the opening, he played seamlessly and mellifluously through the entire work. His phrasing was delightful, there was a real poetry in his interpretation, and he had an arsenal of technical expertise at his disposal."


Wiener Zeitung [Vienna Times] (October 14, 2002)
"Alles andere als eine große Solistenkarriere des 23-jährigen Heinrich-Schiff-Schülers Harwood wäre eine Überraschung."

"Anything else other than a big soloist career from this 23-year-old Heinrich Schiff student would be a surprise."


Lynn News (July 2002)
"[Richard Harwood] is widely regarded as one of his generations leading musicians......On the evidence of Sunday's performance, I certainly would not dispute ths."

The Strad (April 2002)
"'Cellist Richard Harwood is a fine musician with a well-considered blend of flamboyance and sensitivity."

READ FULL REVIEW? (January 2002)
"Sharing this PLG concert was the cellist Richard Harwood, already, at 22, a very considerable artist, with an engaging platform presence, bags of musicality and a striking command of the many and varied techniques that his programme demanded."

"Richard Harwood is a name to watch for."


The Independent (January 14, 2002)
"On Tuesday, the unaccompanied 'cellist Richard Harwood demonstrated a flawless technique, and convincingly shaped the contours of Philip Grange's early and unjustly neglected Nocturnal Image."


The Independent (January 13, 2002)
"'Cellist Richard Harwood gave such an air of calm, expertise and flexibility in his performance that you felt eager to hear him play anything, old or new......An astonishingly good cellist who sailed through the whole thing smelling of extremely expensive roses......A star in the making."


Margaret Davies, Musical Opinion (December 2001)
"Harwood is a cellist of exceptional talent, the maturity of whose playing belied his years."


Margaret Campbell, The Strad
"probably the greatest young 'cello talent since Jacqueline du Pré."


Musical Opinion
"Harwood showed an instinctive feel for shaping phrases......there was never a hint of discomfort or self-consciousness, and his sureness of line, together with his clear joy of playing, proved his quickly-achieved status as an original and irrepressible musical spirit."


The Strad
"an exceptionally lyrical player......formidable technique."


London Evening Standard
"Richard Harwood gave a graceful, articulate, mature and unhurried performance of Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme. This most musical of teenagers knew how to stretch phrases, shape cadences and feel the mood of each variation. The Strad magazine thinks he is the next Jacqueline du Pré. He has the confidence and musicality to fulfil that prophecy."


The Strad
"Harwood tackled the fast passages like a veteran and invested the long legato phrases with melting beauty."


New Zealand Herald
"At the age of 15, Yehudi Menuhin made history with his performance of Elgar's violin concerto. At only 13, Richard Harwood is doing that with the 'cello concerto."


The Dominion (New Zealand)
"[Richard Harwood] is a remarkable player. His technique is amazing in one so young; rock solid as to intonation and sweepingly varied tonally......surely the world of music lies at his feet."


Evening Mail (New Zealand)
"The maturity of his 'cello playing is quite amazing. Wonderful warm tone......complete mastery of the instrument. Remember the name of Richard Harwood as an international name of the future."


The Daily Telegraph (New Zealand)
"an outstanding performance."

The Birmingham Post (July 16th, 1990)
"Boy, 10, performs with aplomb."

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