News

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An Astonishing Violin Debut at the Auburn Symphony



February 21, 2017

“…At Sunday’s concert, it (Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto) was played with passion, emotion, warmth, depth, maturity, and impeccable intonation and musicianship even in the hardest sections of playing very fast on more than one string at a time…”

"…This was a performance of rich satisfaction to listen to…"

"…For the first time ever at an ASO performance, the soloist played an encore…Not a fireworks showoff piece, but a meditative quiet one, spare and lovely…"

by Philippa Kiraly - at The SunBreak, Seattle

Link

Beethoven mit geballter Faust Mozart-Matinee mit Stipendiat Stephen Waarts im Konzerthaus



February 13, 2017

“…has a vigorous, energetic stroke and a very advanced technique. And when, as in the second movement, he sings the music with silver tone, it sounds elegant and cultured. His sensitive structure in this andante cantabile suited the encore, the "dance of shades" from the second solosonate by Eugene Ysaye …”

Ruhr Nachrichten - Dortmunder Kultur

Bremer Philharmoniker bescheren Konzert auf höchstem Niveau



February 12, 2017

“The slender, tall young man was instantly liked through his modest appearance and his light violin tone, which nevertheless did not lack any substance. His interpretation of Mozart's violin concerto No. 4 in D major succeeded in the typically floating, sensual style of the Viennese classics"

by Peter Tölke - at Westdeutsche Allgemeine - WAZ

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Violinist Waarts elevates trick to art


Philharmonie zuidnederland, Kees Bakels cond. and with Stephen Waarts violin in works by Wagner, Paganini (Violin Concerto No. 2, Op 7.), Verdi and Mendelssohn, Heard in Muziekgebouw Eindhoven

October 9, 2016

the Eindhovense listeners recognized and embraced him (Waarts) as a musical genius. Paganini's music is mainly to show what virtuoso silliness you can play on a violin. I am soon finished with these acrobatics – tricks with little content - but to be honest, this soloist lifted the tricks to art.

…Modest but with flair Waarts played the many impossible double stops, climbed to dizzying heights in the strings, his left hand with breakneck speed along the fingerboard of his instrument…

….Best of all was the intense, warm tone that he pulled with firm stroke from his beautiful Guarneri violin…

…Surprising was the encore, Sonata # 5 of Ysaye, a piece that begins with two gently stroked open strings and in which the slowly built perfectly executed virtuosity was in service to the music.


by: Marjolijn Sengers
Eindhovens Dagblad
(translated from Dutch)

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Hommage an Yehudi Menuhin


April 30, 2016
Brahms Violin Concerto, Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester - James Judd Conducting

“He (Stephen Waarts) is the most interpretive player…”

“One rarely experiences a so consistently spiritual concert. He is one with yourself; his game is to investigate, search, think, weigh and sometimes doubt.  He is a violinist who has the potential to set standards in interpretation.”
(translated from German)

by Andreas Göbel, kulturradio

Link
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Berlin, Konzerthaus: Violinkonzerte, Hommage an Menuhin


April 30, 2016
Brahms Violin Concerto, Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester - James Judd Conducting

…he revealed his virtuosity with a beautiful tone and makes one sit up and take notice with a beautiful rise and fall of the sound.

Deep concentration achieved its goal in the dialog with the oboe in the Adagio, with the once by Pablo de Sarasate criticized "leadership" by the oboe. Stephen Waarts succeeded wonderfully, to "play around" the oboe melody and to give it a suitable languishing superstructure.

The third movement was very playfully interpreted - even truly "giocoso" - with the soloist and the orchestra under the gripping leadership of James Judd alternately taking the lead.
(translated from German)

Für oper-aktuell: Kaspar Sannemann

Link
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Das Konzerthaus sucht den superenkel: Violinkonzerte von Bach, Beethoven, Brahms

April 29, 2016
Brahms Violin Concerto, Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester - James Judd Conducting


...shows in Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major a sympathetic, as opposed to superficial tonal beauty, sometimes with fascinating nonchalance....

...his dramatic moving comes entirely from within, without external showmanship; in the Adagio he succeeds with a soft, non-tacky, perfectly singing tone...
(translated from German)

hundert11 – Konzertgänger in Berlin
Link

2015

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Enlarged Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle Triumphant in Romantic Program


November 15, 2015 - Durham, NC

“Waarts instantly impressed with the power of his attack and the purity and warmth of his tone…. the give-and-take between Waarts and section leaders was a constant delight. “
by William Thomas Walker - CNVC - North Carolina
Full text
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Violinist Stephen Waarts signs to HarrisonParrott

September 25, 2015

HarrisonParrott is delighted to welcome Dutch-American violinist Stephen Waarts to its roster for general management, working alongside Young Concert Artists in North America.

Full announcement

Artist profile and contact information at HarrisonParrott
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2015 Kronberg Academy Festival


September 26 - October 3, 2015

Stephen Waarts will take part in the 1015 Kronberg Academy Festival.

Kronberg Academy Festival website
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Mozart Gesellschaft scholarship

Sept 2015

Following the 2015 Krzyżowa Music Festival in Poland, Stephen Waarts was awarded the Mozart Gesellschaft scholarship which will see him work with the Bremer Philharmoniker in the 2016/17 season.
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Krzyżowa: The music

August 30, 2015

“…The final piece of the final evening's performance brought out the talents of a young violinist from California, Stephen Waarts, first violinist in Schubert's String Quintet in C major. His playing was keen, sensitive, personal and fluent. He set the pace, he receded into the background when the voice passed to other players, he was supportive and expressive. He knew the piece cold, seldom even glancing at the score. This piece had been rehearsed by Alfred Brendel, who was smiling approvingly after the performance. Although this quintet suffers from being overplayed, that it is capable of being played at such heights, and with such care, proves its greatness. …”
The Millbrook Independent
by Stephen Kaye
Full text
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Young Festival del Sole violinist on the brink of stardom

July 29, 2015

…each and every one in the venue knew they’d seen a young man on the brink of stardom…We loved Waart’s tonal purity, along with his remarkable range of expressive colors… Waarts caught the dreamy, other-worldly quality of even the simplest phrases, and pianist Miles Graber — who proved a worthy partner throughout the performance — was equally adept at the mood changes and harmonic surprises one expects in SchuberMaurice Ravel’s “Tzigane…The very talented young violinist offered a jaw-droppingly virtuosic performance of intensity, exoticism and vibrant melody
Napa Valley Register
by L Pierce Carson
Full review
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Christoph König Leads Brevard Sinfonia with Soloist Stephen Waarts

July 25, 2015
…shimmering moments of sheer beauty…Thus completely captivating the audience and after repeated curtain calls, he played a brief encore, the introspective second movement from Eugene Ysaÿe's Sonata No. 4 for solo violin, to thunderous applause.
CVNC - The online arts journal in North Carolina
by: Laura McDowell
Full review
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The choice of the Heart

May 31, 2015

Every year, the Festival welcomes the Musiq'3 audience winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition , the one you have chosen ! After a deep run in the Competition this year it is Stephen Waarts that has attracted the favor of the Belgian public , both north and south since he also received the "price VRT " in addition to " price Musiq'3 " !
Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF - the public broadcasting organization of the French Community of Belgium)
Full text
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Stephen Waarts Wins VRT Public Price

May 31, 2015
The Dutch -American violinist Stephen Waarts wins in the final of the Queen Elisabeth Competition the 2015 VRT audience price. Waarts is only 18 years.

The young Dutch -American violinist Stephen Waarts played on the closing night as a last candidate. The eighteen- year-old musician most captivated the audience and received overwhelmingly your vote. He wins the VRT public prize worth 2,500 euros.

Overall, more than three thousand people participate in this vote.
VRT - Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie
(Flemish Radio and Television Broadcasting Organization national public-service broadcaster for the Flemish Region and Community of Belgium.)
Full text
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Baffling results in Brussels

Jury places audience favourite in fifth place at Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition in Belgium
May 31, 2015
…a Bartók that was full of beautiful colours and contrasts, by virtue of a large palette of vibratos and bow speeds. He was certainly the first player all week to find a real pianissimo sound.

Waarts was sensitive to the full range of the composer’s moods and influences, whether gypsy rhythms, painful longing or joyous aspirations, and was able to switch between them in the blink of an eye, and to allow ebb and flow. The cadenza of the first movement was spell-binding – quiet in a way that none of the other performers dared, forcing the audience to listen; the simplest of phrases in the slow movement belied a gratefully received old-fashioned musical taste; and his rhythmic impulse in the last movement was infallible. One was also aware of a true chamber musician, in touch at all times with Alsop and trying to galvanise the orchestra, whether leading the winds with his violin or playing with the cellos.

There was a complete clarity to Waarts’s modern piece, his left hand fluid and nimble and his lines sweeping in the moto perpetuo. He created a beautiful landscape in the slow section, between all the harmonics and disjointed notes, and made structural sense of the finale.

…the fifth place for Waarts that baffled me…
Elbow Music
by: Ariane Todes
Full Text
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Closing chords in Brussels: the 2015 Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition

May 31, 2015

Many arguments could be made for a top prize for Stephen Waarts, at 18 the youngest contestant and the most original musical voice amongst the finalists. A master of color, form and musical character, Waarts mesmerized the audience with cries and whispers, the only candidate to spin a true pianissimo during the entire week of competitive performance. His Bartok emphasized ephemeral, long lines of harmonic meandering over barbaric, folk elements: the king of subtlety and nuance deserved far more than a 5th Prize
Violinist.com
by Heather Kurzbauer
Full text
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Concours Reine Elisabeth: miraculeuse simplicité de Waarts


May 30, 2015

…the Dutch-American shows great maturity, dominating the score with ease and serenity.

From the outset, the candidate made a direct and fruitful contact with Marin Alsop and the orchestra, a link that would continue throughout the second concerto of Bartok. With, again, the same feeling of smiling and relaxed ease: almost paradoxical at a level unmatched in one of the most demanding music competitions in the world, there is risk that, little by little, this relaxation will eventually pass for a lack of commitment. It would be unfair, because the benefit is remarkable lightness and ductility of the bow, precision attacks, sound quality, there is nothing wrong with the candidate. But in addition, Waarts is not cheating: he played the work, nothing but work. As if, barely out of his teens, he had learned all the basics - music - but not the accessory, that is to say, the interpretative theater that accompanies it.

The slow movement is a miracle of simplicity, in fact fully consistent with the prescribed Bartok who noted "Andante tranquillo." And the final allegro, exudes a mischievous humor, is the perfect conclusion of a non-standard interpretation that the jury will reward.
La Libre
by Nicolas Blanmont et Martine D. Mergeay
Full text
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Violin Channel “Twenty Questions”

A video with Stephen Waarts answering 20 questions for the “violin Channel”

March 26, 2015
By Violin channel
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Interview - Stephen Waarts: The Young Master

January 2015
By Jacqueline Vanesse
Link
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Menuhin winner Stephen Waarts deftly plays Mendelssohn with SFCO

January 3, 2015
“Waarts displayed well polished sonorities that were consistently executed with cleanliness and clarity. He played through his part as if nothing Mendelssohn had written posed any unmanageable challenge. This was familiar music; but the execution had a freshness to it. This was a reading that seized attention from the opening notes and held it to the final cadence.”
SF Classical Music Examiner
By Stephen Smoliar,
Link

2014

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Never Too Young to Take On Beethoven and BartokStephen Waarts Debuts at Merkin Concert Hall

December 16, 2014
“When he first appeared onstage, the lanky Mr. Waarts looked like a typically awkward teenager. He became all grace and assurance, though, once he started playing…”

On Beethoven Sonata No. 8 “a lithe, spirited account of an inventive early piece”

On Bartok Solo Violin Sonata: “Mr. Waarts, playing commandingly from memory, balanced passages that evolve in the halting dance idiom of the chaconne with rhapsodic stretches that in this gripping account seemed somberly ruminative. He was comparably inspired in the resolute, intricate fugue, the searching slow movement marked Melodia, and the frenetic finale.” (Bartok Solo Sonata)

On Ravel’s Sonata in G: “gave a colorful, vibrant performance of Ravel’s Sonata in G. The first movement was aptly fluid and dreamy; the jazzy second movement, impish and sly. The breathless perpetual-motion finale had both sparkle and intensity.”

On Waxman Carmen Fantasy: “dispatched it brilliantly”
The New York Times
by: Anthony Tommasini
Link
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Teen violinist Stephen Waarts offers imaginative take on classics in local debut

December 10, 2014

“Stephen Waarts gave an outstanding debut at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. In a fine program of Beethoven, Bartok, Ravel and Waxman — difficult music, in a range of styles and impeccably rendered — Waarts showed an uncommon, preternatural sense of tonal color and lyrical beauty on the instrument.”
The Washington Post
By: Robert Battey
Link
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Violinist Stephen Waarts displays his phenomenal technique in “Gift to the Community’ concert”

November 10, 2014

“Word must have gotten out into the community about Waarts’ abilities because the room was packed, something that doesn’t necessarily happen when the Bills’ games are televised or played out at The Ralph.”

“Waarts is phenomenal from a technical standpoint and his interpretive skills are already at a high level.”

“The audience left the hall, after a brief encore, fully sated.”
The Buffalo News
by: Garaud MacTaggart
Link
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Rising Stars: Stephen Waarts

October 2014

.. demonstrated maturity far beyond his years and a virtuosity that would be the envy of violinists of any age...

...At his Orford recital Stephen made a strong impression with his performance of Bartók’s Sonata for Violin Solo. His intonation was impeccable and he effortlessly captured the work’s many moods and colours.

With Curtis colleague Chelsea Wang, an equally impressive partner at the piano, Waarts gave anamazing interpretation of Ravel’s Sonate. Again, every note was in tune, the phrasing was idiomatic and the tone quality rich and full. The jazz elements inthe slow movement were perfectly realized with just the right touch of humour and melancholy, and the finale was brilliant and exciting.
La Scena Musicale
by: Paul E. Robinson
Link
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Classical Conversations: Violinist Stephen Waarts with Paul E. Robinson

October 3, 2014
Recorded during the Orford Festival Canada
Youtube Link
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First Prize Senior Winner of the Menuhin Competition, Austin 2004

March 1, 2014
Stephen Waarts was awarded 1st Prize in the Senior Division. He also received the Bach Prize and the Composer's Prize for Donald Grantham’s new work Black-eyed Suzy.

In addition to the $10,000 1st prize award, he will receive a 1 year loan of a a fine old Italian violin by Christophe Landon Rare Violins as well as international performance opportunities. The $1,500 Bach prize was donated by Robert Masters and the $1,000 Composer's prize was donated by Toyoko Hattori.

The 2014 Menuhin Competition was held in Austin, Texas at the Butler School of Music and Long Center for the Performing Arts. It included among other performances with the Miro Quartet, the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra.

This year jury included Pamela Frank (USA), Joji Hattori (Japan/Austria), Olivier Charlier (France), Ilya Gringolts (Russia), David Kim (USA), Brian Lewis (USA), LU Siqing (China), Anton Nel (South Africa/US) and Arabella Steinbacher (Germany)
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Reviews Menuhin Competition, Austin 2004

March 2014

Waarts showed superb control of dynamics and colour, bringing out real extremes in both the folky and classical sections and demonstrating a vital sense of pulse in what was still an intimate rendition (On Grantham - "Black Eyed Susy")

...Stephen Waarts produced a subtle op.76 no.2 - the fourth movement exhibiting beautifully constructed long phrases (On Hyand quartet with the Miro Quartet members)

"The orchestra came alive in the second half, where Waarts built exquisite tension and a real sense of a journey." On Prokofiev Violin Concertp No 2) Ariane Todes - Strad Magazine

"Stephen is enigmatic, he has a huge talent and has always been an artist.. I am delighted he now has the Menuhin Competition first prize." Zamira Benthall - Daughter of Sir Yehudi Menuhin

If (Yehudi Menuhin) were here tonight, he would be absolutely thrilled as to what happened to this competition. Gordon Back - Competition Artistic Director

....Stephen had us hanging on every note…The music fits together like a complex and intricate clock made by a madman genius. It sounds wrong when it's right, and so how does one know if it's right? On this night, I finally knew. In fact, I heard a few things I hadn't heard before because they meshed just right; I saw how they fit. Laurie Niles - Violinist.com

A shockingly mature, nuanced performance of Prokofiev’s second violin concerto… Luke Quinton - Austin360.com

...a blazing and supremely assured performance... It’s a tricky, moody piece, but Waarts made of it a seamless, gripping episode. Zachary Lewis - Cleveland.com

...technical perfection and great beauty of tone… a presence on stage that commands attention… his playing soars over the orchestra…Paul E. Robinson - La Scena Musicale

2013

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Young Concert Artists Inc Recital, New York on WQXR New York Classical Radio

December 18, 2013

Broadcast by New York's classical radio station WQXR on
The McGraw Hill Financial Young Artists Showcase presented by Robert Sherman.
Recorded November 11 2013
Listen
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First Prize Winner of the 2013 Young Concert Artist, Inc. , New York, International Auditions

November 9, 2013

Stephen Waarts was added to the artist roster of Young Concert Artist Inc. Since 1961,YCA shines a spotlight on the newest talent, launching careers through debut concerts and comprehensive professional development. YCA artists go on to have a major impact on the future of music. Notable alumni include Emanuel Ax, Pinchas Zukerman, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Dawn Upshaw.

Stephen Waarts was awarded YCA's Sander Buchman Prize, which provides major support for his New York debut. He also received two YCA Performance Prizes: a concerto appearance with the Albany Symphony, and a concert with the Buffalo Chamber Music Society.
Press release
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MIMC 2013: A Competition to Remember

June 3, 2013

"...This enormously talent young man (another 16 year old!) played with the most gorgeous tone and uncommon musicality."....
La Scena Musicale
by: Joseph So
Full Text
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Montreal International Musical Competition - Montreal, Canada

May 17, 2015

- Audience award - “Radio Canada People’s Choice Award” for Brahms Violin Concerto with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Maxim Vengerov conducting at the Maison symphonique de Montréal.
- Jury award, 2nd place
Montreal International musical competition
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Montreal International Music Competition:

May 17, 2013

...The young violinist offered a palette of intense moments, especially in the cadenza, where he performed with great contrasts....

...In the second movement, Waarts’s musicality and phrasing were truly showcased. Undoubtedly, his sense of melody is his strength: every note, every crescendo, and every vibrato had its place. Everything was on key. (Definitely a must listen!)...

...the audience showered Waarts with thunderous applause and cries of ‘Bravo!’ ...
La Scena Musicale
by: Christine Lee
Full text
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Concours musical - Un gala qui confirme tout

May 19, 2013

"I prefer to find someone who will be on stage in five to ten years in London, Paris or New York. This artist did exist and it is called Stephen Waarts, an American of sixteen. " (translated)
Le Devoir - Montreal
by: Christophe Huss
Full text
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Concours musical - L’Ange aux mains moites

May 16, 2013

"The winner of my heart…when he starts to play, something happens" (translated)
Le Devoir - Montreal
by: Christophe Huss
Full text
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Violon : le 2e et dernier soir

May 16, 2013

For this listener, the choice was Stephen Waarts,... Stephen Waarts seems to have put his whole being into one thing: his violin. He draws in a noble Brahms sound reminiscent Milstein and impresses a continuous thought, from beginning to end, including the cadence virtuoso." (translated)
LaPresse
by: Claude Gingras
Full text
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2013 Montreal International Musical Competition: Finals, Day 2 + Final Thoughts

May 16, 2013

"Stephen Waarts had a beautiful grace in his playing from the first note of the Brahms Concerto -- and then he warmed up and got even better! His impeccable intonation soothed the soul, and his concept of the piece was a cohesive whole -- he made it look easy. I stopped worrying, relaxed and enjoyed the beauty that is Brahms: the soaring melodies, the quirky rhythms that pop out of a cluster of notes well-played, the warmth of emotion."
Violinist.com
by: Laurie Niles
Full text
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The Montreal Violin Competition, Pt. IV, the Results

may 16, 2013

…playing the Brahms Concerto (and Joachim’s cadenza) with unreal poise, technical command, and a totally natural sense of musical drama… Waarts convinced many in the audience that he would be the top dog…

…Waart’s excellence had already been apparent in the semifinals when he turned heads and captured hearts with an unexpectedly sophisticated Ravel Sonata in G major and an emotionally confused (appropriately so) reading of Karol Szymanowski’s ecstatic Nocturne and Tarantella…
Strings Magazine
by: Laurence Vittes
Full text

Nouvelle portée de violonistes chevronnés : suite et fin

May 15, 2013

…With obviously superior intelligence, his playing is structured as rarely seen in a musician. Even more surprising, given his young age…Waarts has a dazzling future ahead of him... (translated)
Montréalistement
by: Normand Babin
Full text
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Montreal International Music Competition Enters Finals

May 14, 2013

" Of all the candidates that night, Waarts produced the most warm and beautiful sound which greatly suited his programme: Ravel’s Sonata in G major, Penderecki’s Cadenza, Szymanowski’s Nocturne et Tarentelle, op.28, and Elgar’s La Capricieuse, op. 17."
La Scena Musicale
by: Christine Lee
Full text
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Maxim Vengerov to Conduct Montreal Violin Competition Finals

May 14, 2013

"..captured with almost indecent sexuality the jazz and the Jazz Age of Ravel's Sonata in G Major before ending with Karol Szymanowski's ecstatic, emotionally confusing Nocturne and Tarantella..."
Huffington Post
by: Laurence Vittes
Full text
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Violin marathon approaches finish

May 12, 2013

"Waarts gave the best performance of the semis — there is a prize for that — with all the effort of a yawn, and there’s little point trying to wrap words around his talent"
Gazette - Montreal
by: Lev Bratishenko
Full Text

2012 and earlier

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Symphony’s ‘Great Composers’ concert another excellent performance

March 30, 2012

...A virtuoso show-piece, the concerto requires confidence and expertise; Waarts displayed ample amounts of both. In the first movement, Waarts presented the main theme with lyrical simplicity, but very soon was engaged in pyrotechnical display. He played rapidly and with remarkably clean articulation, but with such consummate musicianship that he, and so we, never lost track of the thematic development in the movement....In the finale, we saw a return of Waarts‘ agility and speed as he and the orchestra flew to a rousing finale. The audience leapt to their feet to give Waarts what is sure to be one of many standing ovations in what is sure to be a stellar career.
(Concert with Solano Community Symphony, CA - March 24 and 24, 2012
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto)
Daily Republic
Full text



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Stephen Waarts and Zeyu Victor Li: Two Young Curtis Violinists Exhibit Almost Limitless Potential

March 13, 2013

..the young man spoke to his audience as if he was reciting poetry…

…His concentration and genuine submersion in the music ensures that he has no time to worry about swaying excessively to the music. Everything he has to say he says through his instrument…
LocalArtsLive (Philadelphia)
by: Dario Sarlo
Full post
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Radio Interview by Charles Sepos on Curtain Call on KRCB FM

Recorded Nov 11, 2012

Interview related to performance with the American Philharmonic Sonoma County playing the Sibelius concerto. The interview also covers general aspects including among others studies at Curtis Institute of Music

KRCB FM is an NPR affiliate KRCB FM Radio 91.1 FM and 90.9 FM in Western and Northern Sonoma County, airs live on Bay Area Comcast Cable channel 961, streams live at krcb.org, and podcasts at www.krcb.org/curtain-call and on iTunes.
by: Charles Sepos
Link to interview


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Los Angeles jewish symphony represents "exaltation" biblical stories throughout music.

August 14, 2011

Concert Ford Amphitheater - Los Angeles, CA - Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Prophets Violin Concerto.

...brilliant and seldom-played Violin Concerto #2, subtitled “The Prophets”...
...“This virtuoso violinist delighted us with a three-part concerto that if one could explain the feeling it would have to be the sensation of a journey while traveling to an ethereal world created through a poetic imagination as he played the violin.”
SOCAL
by: B.Quintanilla
Full text
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EXALTATION -- concert review by Baruch Cohon

August 14, 2011
Concert Ford Amphitheater - Los Angeles, CA

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Prophets Violin Concerto
Los Angeles Jewish Symphony

"..Hands-down hit of the evening was the young violinist Stephen Waarts....delivered a masterful performance of a complex and demanding work...This reviewer had the privilege Concert of taking a few lessons from Tedesco myself back in the ‘60’s, so I can testify to what a profound musician he was. I believe he would have been overjoyed to hear what Stephen Waarts and the LAJS did with his concerto, how they communicated the love of Isaiah, the doom in Jeremiah and the powerful promise of Elijah. With his first sonorous notes, Stephen Waarts grabbed our respect. Then came the challenging virtuoso runs and harmonics, the impeccable cues,…"
By: Baruch Cohon
Full Text
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A chance to see a true musical prodigy

May 31, 2011
I first heard Stephen, when he was only 8 and playing a three-quarter size instrument, at the request of his, then, teacher Jenny Rudin. He simply knocked me off of the stool, not just by his advanced technique, which I had experienced a number of times in my reviewing of the wonderful youth orchestras and soloists in this area, but by his unexpectedly advanced and mature interpretations for an 8-year-old and the emotion-evoking quality of his sound. He is one of only a few world-class violinists who can bring me to tears with that rare beauty.
The Daily Journal, San Mateo
by: Ketih Kreitman
Full text
Daily Journal
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Sein Herz hängt am Violinspiel

October, 10, 2010

Article describing Stephen Waarts while in Weimar-Germany at the Spohr competition.
TLZ Weimar,
by: Jan Kreyßig
Full text
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Storm and Sunshine in the Redwoods

September 25, 2010

“...Waarts stunned the audience with his dark, mature tone and his assured and confident approach to the music. He has an artful sense of pitch, which came out particularly gracefully in the glissandos. He wrote his own first-movement cadenza, a good pastiche of the Paganini style. No mindless trick performer, he brought out such beauty in the melodic line as could be found, with a rich sound especially in the double-stops. He wisely played to his strength by choosing another virtuoso piece thick in double-stops for his encore, one of Henryk Wieniawski’s Op. 18 caprices….”
Classical Voice, San Francisco,
by: David Bratman
Full text
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Forces of Nature

June 2010

(Menuhin Competion Oslo 2010) “From the first note of his Brahms Sonata I was hooked, and within a few bars I was moved to tears. I don’t have this response very often…”
“and although it is possible to analyze it…, perhaps it is better not to try.”
“Music is at his best when it’s below the belt like this… such an experience is so rare...”
“spun a truly poetic and sincere Poeme”
Strad magazine,
by: Ariane Todes
Full text
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Does it matter if the Menuhin Violin Competition exploits young musicians?

April 27, 2010

“But that said, my vote would have gone to a West Coast American of the same age called Stephen Waarts who didn’t have such obvious platform presence but nonetheless struck me as the most engaging (and curious) figure in the whole competition.

From the first bars of the Chausson Poeme, his chosen grand finale test piece with orchestra, it was blindingly clear that this small boy – and he too is seriously small, thin and waif-like – was something special: not just the mechanical wonder that some of his fellow entrants were, running through a repertoire of immaculately learnt tricks, but a soul. Which I guess is why he chose to play the Chausson (not a natural competition winner) as opposed to the flamboyant Sarasate Zigeunerweisen or Ravel Tzigane that most of the others chose.

Waarts came second which was no dishonour. And he can take comfort from the history of the Menuhin competition, which suggests that coming second, third or lower gives you greater likelihood of success in later life that coming first. Tasmin Little never made it beyond second, Likewise Isabelle van Keulen. And Nikola Znaider only managed fifth.”
The Telegraph
Michael White, Music Critic
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San Francisco Conservatory of Music Students Sweep the 2009 KDFC Classical

May 12, 2009
SF conservatory press release

“In the Youth Category, Stephen Waarts, Preparatory Division violinist, performed Glazunov’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op.82, 1st and 4th Movements: Moderato and Allegro. A stand-out among a field of amazing young performers, Waarts won top honors and received judges’ comments such as “heartfelt, vulnerable…I stopped noticing his playing…what soul!” Stephen took home a $1,500 cash prize and an invitation to perform at the Festival del Sole at the Jarvis Conservatory in Napa, Sunday, July 19. “

“KDFC Classical Star Search received hundreds of video entries and narrowed them down to 10 semifinalists in each category – Adult Category (age 21+) and Youth Category (age 10-20). Three adult and five youth finalists were chosen to advance to the Grand Finals and performed for the audience and judges at the Conservatory’s Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall on Monday, May 11th 2009. “

“The celebrity judges for this year’s Finals competition were Donald Runnicles (Music Director and Principal Conductor of the San Francisco Opera), Zuill Bailey (renowned cellist), and KDFC’s midday air personality Dianne Nicolini.”
KDFC
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Moscow Newspaper

June 2, 2009

Carmen Fantasie, Waxman
Stephen Waarts, violin soloist
Kostroma Symphony Orchestra with Conductor Pavel Gershtein conducting
Grand closing concert of the festival "Moscow meets friends festival” organized by Vladimir Spivakov.
Moscow State University
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Making it to Carnegie Hall

November 25, 2008
Daily Journal - San Mateo
by: Keith Kreitman
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A virtuoso Violinist - And he’s only 12: Los Altos’ own Stephen Waarts amazes with outstanding talent


November. 5, 2008

Interview with Stephen Waarts
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Silicon Valley Symphony
Los Altos Crier
by: Rie Nakanishi
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