Young Critics Review 2019 – Lauren Zhang (by Sophie Nock)
Lauren Zhang – Piano
This piece was played in a gentle and smooth manner. Lauren’s dedication to the music was clear and she had memorised it well, giving a focused and polished performance. The movement of the fingers was astonishing and extremely well controlled. The dynamics were contrasting and detailed, and had evidently been well thought through to create a moving and romantic effect. The contrast between movements was accurately achieved and once again clearly carefully considered to make the piece more interesting. Unusual and complex fingering was used, and she pulled it off brilliantly. The pedalling Lauren used was very discreet but tied the piece together to make it absolutely perfect.
This piece was played energetically and with much enthusiasm. It was lively and fast, and a wonderful contrast to the prior piece. The finger agility and movement was amazing and the staccatos were lightly played. The middle pedal was effectively used to hold the lower notes while the left hand joined its peer higher up the keyboard. The range was wide but the chords worked due to the excellent dynamic control. The tempo changes were expressive and well-placed. The left hand grace notes added a little extra feeling to the music, and it was an amazing rendition.
The third and final piece was gentle and slow, played in a consistently smooth way. The contrast between different parts of this piece was expressive and strong. The control was remarkable and the dynamic choices effective and moving.
The finger control was highly impressive throughout all the pieces, which were carefully chosen to contrast well and show the immense skill and talent of the schoolgirl pianist. The whole performance was faultless and bright, with wonderful pedal and dynamic control that finished off the pieces to make them as amazing as they were today.
By Sophie Nock (age 12)