"...one of the last pianists in the grand romantic tradition of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Rubinstein"
2001 Barbara Nissman Concert Reviews
Arrebatadora pianista en los ciclos de RTVE /Prokofiev No. 3
Arrebatadora pianista en el mejor sentido del término, y también pujante y excelente concierto en su consideración global el que se disfrutó la semana pasada en la presente serie de los conjuntos radiotelevisos. No había tenido occasión hasta ahora de escuchar a la pianista Barbara Nissman. Y me ha parecido que, aparte de un dominio mecánico y técnico absoluto del instrumento, presenta una particularidad a mi modo de ver nada común, a la hora de enfrentarse con una página de las características prosódicas y expresivas del Concierto #3 de Sergei Prokofiev: la de hacer compatibles características tan aparentemente dispares en principio como son el poder, la energía, por una parte,y la claridad, limpieza y transparencia, por otra. Y todo ello con excelente sentido constructivo y musical. Su éxito fue el merecido, recompensado con dos propinas.
Dazzling Pianist in the RTVE Concerts- Madrid/Prokofiev No. 3
A dazzling and passionate pianist, in the best sense of the words! It was also an absolutely excellent concert, broadcast last week within the series of concerts offered by Spanish radio and TV. Never before have I had the opportunity to listen to Barbara Nissman. Apart from her magnificent control and technique, she offered something special which I have seldom come across. When faced with a page of music, both prosaic and expressive, of Sergei Prokofiev's Concerto #3, she brought the extremes together in a fusion of power and energy on the one hand, and with clarity, lucidity and transparency on the other. And all of this combined with a profound sense of musicality and construction. Her success was well deserved, and the enthusiastic public was rewarded with two encores.
ABC, Madrid, Spain 12/3/01
Orchestra Plays Brahms For Full House
But the best was yet to come. Barbara Nissman, soloist in Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 offered a superlative performance of this difficult work and obviously enjoyed every minute of it. She displayed a powerful, imposing technique that overcame all of the difficulties the composer put before anyone attempting to play this work. Nissman showed her ability to shift from lyrical themes and vigorously passionate ones in the first movement. She also exhibited her brilliance as a technician in the scherzo second movement. Nissman realizes completely the beauty, serenity and expressiveness of the lovely nocturne of the third movement and then shifts effortlessly to superbly executed technical flourishes in the finale.
Asheville Citizen-Times, NC 10/29/01
Lexington Philharmonic/Beethoven #4
Pianist Barbara Nissman was heartbreaking in the Andante of Beethoven's 4th piano concerto, her plaintive entreaties finally winning over the aggressive unison of the orchestra. She opened the work eloquently, now bold, then ethereal. In her hands, the piano was not one instrument, but many, making her an equal partner with the orchestra in effects and colors. This was evident throughout the work, but especially in the impressive cadenzas which drew applause from the audience in mid-piece. The final Rondo was a playful, boisterous bit of fun- a real "buffa", life-affirming happy ending.
Lexington Herald-Leader, KY 9/22/01
Baton Rouge Symphony/Prokofiev #3
This warhorse from the piano repertoire featured guest soloist, Barbara Nissman, a Prokofiev scholar who's recorded all of the composer's sonatas for solo piano and performed them on stage in London and New York. Nissman's other credits include appearances with great orchestras in the US and Europe. She romped through a spirited, technically astute performance here, seemingly treating this engagement with all the importance of a Philadelphia Orchestra or London Philharmonic concert. The dreamy opening swiftly gives way to a rush of strings and piano, a busy splash of high drama and high anxiety. The fiery Nissman stabbed piano chords before slipping into a gypsylike melody. She subsequently produced an onslaught of pianistic fireworks, rushing up and down the keyboard. Orchestra and soloist were excellent partners in the first movement, lively to say the least.The second movement included shimmering piano lines and trills from Nissman. At times, her hands bounced above the keyboard, adding some visual flash to the performance though she obviously performed with music rather than show business in mind. The Concerto, a challenging work, filled with musical invention, concluded with a brilliant third movement, including spiky, percussive melody and swooning strings and piano.
The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA 9/15/01
Pianist Astounds with her Interpretation of Concerto/Khachaturian Concerto
A pianist with power in her hands and rhythm in her body commanded immediate standing ovations at performances Saturday and Sunday as she played magnificently Khachaturian's demanding 1936 composition, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
The Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, PA. 5/15/01
Pianist supplies finale fireworks/Khachaturian Concerto
Occasionally, very occasionally, a world-class musician visits Lancaster and gives us a performance we'll never forget. That's what happened Saturday when Barbara Nissman joined the Lancaster Symphony for its season finale concert "Armenian and Oriental Fireworks" at the Fulton Opera House.
The Sunday News, Lancaster, PA. 5/13/01
Guest Pianist Nissman makes 'A' Liszt
Nissman's astonishingly colored reading of the fiendishly difficult "Chaisse-neige" (Snowstorm), showed her remarkable ability to deliver different tonal colors in either hand.
The Charleston Gazette, WV 5/7/01
Symphony of Seville/Prokofiev No.3
Nissman is a spectacular pianist with an overflowing technique and a clarity of interpretation-never lacking in expressivity, her musicality always conveys the larger structure.
ABC- Seville, Spain 3/6/01
Barbara Nissman Concert
January 27 was a glorious night for Carnegie Hall and Greenbrier County... what a wonderful, wonderful concert, I wish every single person could have been there- the new Steinway has been well and truly 'christened'.
The Mountain Messenger, Lewisburg, WV 2/4/01