Concert Reviews

The San Francisco Chronicle has described her as “A four-star musician with blazing technique, uncanny agility, musical intelligence, and sensitivity.”

The Oakland Tribune called her “an instrumentalist of rank…a brilliant musician.”

The Amsterdam Algemeen Handelsblad wrote of her “incredible decisiveness, her remarkable vision filled with driving pathos.”

“Her wonderful technical facility allows her to do almost anything with the music, and this she does…she brought genuine passion to the music, beautifully nuanced lyrical lines…that had momentum and emotional urgency.” —San Francisco Classical Voice

In October of 2001 Brandwynne gave a solo recital in Paris, which included the Chopin Polonaise-Fantaisie Op. 61 and the Schumann Phantasie in C, and received the following review in La Lettre du Musicien, “…a deep, rich sound…Lois Brandwynne demonstrated her qualities as a pianist of the romantic style: a very eloquent Chopin and a Schumann animated by a profound inspiration that was boundlessly seductive.

“Lois Brandwynne,…a pianist of outstanding intellect, expressiveness and skill…made the evening doubly memorable with a tremendous performance of Schubert’s last sonata in B flat, D.960, published a decade after his death. In the 20 minute first movement, with its serenely beautiful main theme, she made clear the disturbing moments of darkness…sudden outbursts, unexpected hesitations, a soft deep rumble in the bass. It was a profoundly thoughtful, revealing performance, like a message from the mortally ill Schubert himself.” —William Glackin, Sacramento Bee

Paul Turok wrote in his Concert Review series, Turok’s Choice: “For her New York recital at Merkin Hall last night, Bay Area pianist Lois Brandwynne chose a challenging program. It opened with a Schubert group, consisting of the Impromptu in G-flat Major and A Minor Sonata, Op. 142, an indication of her seriousness of purpose.…Brandwynne’s bold approach to the sonata combined unusual rhythmic highlighting with convincing shaping of its three movements. Her second group was devoted to contemporary music…three movements from Milhaud’s ‘La Candelabra a Sept Branches’ were powerfully played. The second half of Brandwynne’s recital was devoted entirely to Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28, which she played magnificently. No sooner had she started than a feeling of the arching shape of the set of pieces (as opposed to twenty-four discrete musical items) could be felt, a rare occurance that signifies the presence of a penetrating musical mind fully integrated with technical fluency. It permits differing interpretations among the more feelingful and more virtuosic preludes, and also entails a keen sense of timing; the tiny interval between preludes was acutely calculated.…What an exciting way and satisfying way to conclude a recital!”

And Harris Goldsmith, music critic for Musical America and New York Concert Review, wrote about the Chopin Preludes: “Ms Brandwynne’s large-scaled, epical reading of these ‘Little Giants’…proved very successful indeed. Preludes like No. 2 in A Minor, No 6 in b Minor…were treated with great elasticity and rhetorical stress.…She was more than equal to the treacheries of No. 19 in E flat major, and she produced the ideal desperation for such famously dangerous pieces as the notorious B flat minor (presto con fuoco), the ‘suicide leap’ No. 18 in F Minor (molto Allegro) and the concluding No. 24 in D Minor (Allegro appassionata). No 12 in F major was very luminous indeed.…I would certainly want to hear her again.”

“‘‘Etude Quasi Cadenza’ is a brilliant solo piece drawn from the composer’s 2006 piano concerto. It was played with commanding bravura by Lois Brandwynne, the concerto’s dedicatee, who also captured the work’s rapidly shifting moods and gestures. In a thoroughly engrossing performance, she dramatized the music’s ongoing progress, as it moves in almost improvisatory fashion from one brief passage to the next, always in search of a resolution that comes only at the end, with a big climactic cadence.” —Jules Langert, San Francisco Classical Voice

Praise from Fellow Musicians

“An elegant pianist, music interpretations of the highest quality” —Laurette Goldberg, harpsichordist, Bach specialist and founder of the Philharmonia Baroque

“Lois Brandwynne, well-known and recognized throughout the San Francisco Bay Area is perceived not only as an inspiring teacher at the Davis campus of the University of California, but as a superb performer. She plays the classics with true technical mastery, inspiration and understanding. She frequently includes and brings to life works by contemporary composers in the belief that a concert hall is not merely a museum of ancient art. We owe her a debt of gratitude.” —Andrew Imbrie, world renowned composer

“She is both poet and tigress in any keyboard style. Composing for Brandwynne means no holds barred.” —Elinor Armer, California composer and former chair of the composition department of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music

“One of my favorite soloists…a beautiful Beethoven IV.” —The late Edgar Braun, founder and conductor of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra