Sergio Tiempo’s debut with New York Philharmonic is “scintillating and virtuosic”

17 February 2020

Following his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2020, Sergio Tiempo has received outstanding reviews for his performances of Esteban Benzecry's Universos Infinitos, which can be found here:

“Pounding rhythms, cascading chords, spiralling swirls of fast notes… a dizzying perpetual-motion toccata. Mr Tiempo gave a scintillating and virtuosic performance.” Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

“The evening’s most rewarding item was the New York premiere of Universos infinitos, a piano concerto by Esteban Benzecry...Pianist Sergio Tiempo, Benzecry’s fellow Argentine, gave an inspired reading, showing in this first movement complete comfort with the virtuosic demands of the part, but also finding moments to pull back and draw whispering phrases out of the instrument... [In “Ñuque Cuyen] an airy texture accompanies the flowing lines of the solo part, which Tiempo played with a breathing freedom, delicately and thoughtfully interweaving his voices... [the] thrilling finale calls to mind the close of Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto, ending in a flash of light and a blazing chordal progression in the solo part.” Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review

“This is an absolutely outstanding composition, undoubtedly the most engaging and satisfying new piano concerto I have heard from a living composer. Tiempo played it with absolute commitment and an extraordinary range of touch, sometimes creating hallucinatory dreamscapes of notes, sometimes hitting an individual key so hard you could hear the note distorting slightly, and integrating percussive effects like double elbow clusters and slaps on the bass strings without seeming affected.” David Wolfson, Bachtrack ****

“The mostly restless piece is a bravura challenge for the pianist...The soloist, the young and fearless Sergio Tiempo, dispatched the virtuosic demands of the part with remarkable ease. In the mystical, dream-like slow movement, ‘Ñuque Cuyen’ (Mother Moon), he played the flowing solo lines with great delicacy and tenderness. In the whirlwind-paced closing toccata, ‘Willka Kuti’’ (Return of the Sun), his furiously energetic playing most effectively depicted the dance rhythms of the Ayamará and Guaraní ethnic groups gathering to celebrate the start of a new agricultural cycle.” Susan Stempleski, Classical Source

Tiempo gave the world premiere performances of Universos Infinitos with the Los Angeels Philharmonic in October 2019, also under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel.

To watch a video of Sergio Tiempo rehearsing the piece with the New York Philharmonic, follow the link.

Clips of the premiere performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic are available here and here.


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