Review from Gabriela's performance of Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 with Akron Symphony and Daniel Hege:

"While Sergei Prokofiev’s third piano concerto receives more than its fair share of visits to the concert stage, and even his first concerto makes appearances from time to time, what about the composer’s second concerto — why does it languish in obscurity?

On Saturday, January 20 at E.J. Thomas Hall, guest conductor Daniel Hege led the first-rate Akron Symphony in a riveting performance of Prokofiev’s visceral Piano Concerto No. 2 in g, with the brilliant Gabriela Martinez as soloist. The young Venezuelan pianist was effortless in her handling of the 30-minute concerto’s technically challenging writing. But it was her instinctive music-making that made for a thrilling listening experience.

Martinez was relaxed and confident during the opening of the Andantino, full of flair during the faster middle section. She was dazzling in Scherzo: Vivace — seamlessly alternating between legato and staccato articulations. The movement is a test of endurance for the soloist and Martinez was more than up to the challenge. She took a controlled approach to the Moderato, with its plodding bass ostinato in the orchestra, while adding the appropriate amount of cheekiness in the solo passages. The pianist was quick out of the blocks for the Finale: Allegro tempestoso. Never looking back, Martinez raced to the end in style.

Hege led a tight performance that allowed the ASO and soloist to act as a synchronized team. It’s always a pleasure to discover new performers, and hopefully we will be able to hear Gabriela Martinez again soon."

Full review can be found here