Gilroy, Cambridge Independent (November 6th, 2018)
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.
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."
Levy, The Cambridge Critique (November 5th, 2018)
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."
(October 28th, 2018)
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
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
Cliff, Eastern Daily Press (October 16th, 2018)
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."
(June 8th, 2017)
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."
Nice (October 11th, 2016)
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."
Isard, OnTheWight.com (January 31st, 2016)
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!."
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."
Campbell-Moore, OxfordTheatreReview.com (May 4th, 2011)
was an exceptional finale fit for an exceptional festival, neither to be missed."
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."
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."
Finch, The Times (May 22nd, 2008)
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.
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."
Dart, New Zealand Herald (March 13th, 2008)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
Dart, New Zealand Herald (July 2nd, 2007)
cellist Richard Harwood was a first-rate soloist."
Cleary, The News - Portsmouth (March 31st, 2006)
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."
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."
Morreau, The Independent (January 18th, 2005)
"an awesome talent"
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."
Finch, The Times (January 17th, 2005)
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."
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."
Carey, Musical Opinion (Jan/Feb 2005)
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."
Volkszeitung (July 18th, 2004)
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..."
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..."
Strad (February 2004)
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
Oxford Times (July 11th, 2003)
Review of July 4th Sophie's Silver Lining
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."
Zeitung [Vienna Times] (October 14, 2002)
andere als eine große Solistenkarriere des 23-jährigen Heinrich-Schiff-Schülers
Harwood wäre eine Überraschung."
else other than a big soloist career from this 23-year-old Heinrich Schiff student
would be a surprise."
MORE? ENGLISH • DEUTSCH
News (July 2002)
Harwood] is widely regarded as one of his generations leading musicians......On
the evidence of Sunday's performance, I certainly would not dispute ths."
Strad (April 2002)
"'Cellist Richard Harwood is a fine musician with a
well-considered blend of flamboyance and sensitivity."
"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."
Harwood is a name to watch for."
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."
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."
Davies, Musical Opinion (December 2001)
"Harwood is a cellist of exceptional
talent, the maturity of whose playing belied his years."
Campbell, The Strad
the greatest young 'cello talent since Jacqueline du Pré."
"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."
lyrical player......formidable technique."
"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."
"Harwood tackled the fast passages like a veteran and invested the
long legato phrases with melting beauty."
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."
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."
Mail (New Zealand)
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."
Daily Telegraph (New Zealand)
Birmingham Post (July 16th, 1990)
FIRST CONCERTO REVIEW
"Boy, 10, performs with aplomb."