Fanfare Magazine Issue 36:2
By Jerry Dubins
November / December 2012
"Her rhythmic incisiveness and technical fluency are marvels to behold, and her playing evinces both boldness and clarity of texturing I haven’t heard in this piece since Marc-André Hamelin’s stunning Schumann disc for Hyperion in 2006..." Read more
American Record Guide
By J.D. Moore
"Young-Ah Tak’s many international performances have won much acclaim... There is certainly finesse in her sparkling reading of the Haydn, where her thoughtful use of pedaling reflects Haydn’s exploration of this innovation in the piano’s evolution, evident in an “open pedal” instruction in the score... Read more
MUSIC & VISION
By Bill Newman
August 23, 2012
"...this CD is worth its weight in gold." Read more
By Lee Passarella
Published on May 23, 2012
"Tak is fleet-footed (or fingered) and ever-sensitive to Schumann’s poetry… Tak boldly tackles the music of three centuries and shows equal affinity for all. She takes one of Haydn’s grandest, most taxing sonatas…and turns in a performance that’s stylish, alive with nuance and flair. Tak is as comfortable with Liszt’s effusive, heart-on-sleeve brand of Romanticism. This music is thrice familiar and available in dozens of recorded renditions, but Tak is not outclassed here. She captures all the stagey swagger of Liszt’s Verdi tribute, the inwardness and longing of the Sonetto 104 del Petrarca. Here, she compares entirely favorably with my benchmark recording by Louis Lortie (on Chandos). Perhaps the most useful inclusion is the bracingly acerbic Sonata by Tak’s teacher Leon Kirchner. This piece is certainly not new to recordings; there’s a classic version by Leon Fleisher that’s undoubtedly a barn-burner. But then so, pretty much, is Tak’s version. She sets out on a mission wherein she’s resolved to take no prisoners, and her steely virtuosity stands her in good stead throughout the tough pages of Kirchner’s Sonata. The disc would be just about worth acquiring on the strength of this performance, but then the Liszt and Haydn interpretations help to make this an appealingly varied program to boot. MSR’s sonics are bright and very immediate; this is mostly a very good piano recording. This is a fine showcase for Young-Ah Tak’s considerable talents, and I recommend it to one and all. * * * (*). Read the full article
Audio Society of Atlanta
By Phil Muse
"A lithe, quick, flexible touch on the keyboard, plus an unerring feeling for the rhythmic values inherent in the works she plays are combined in pianist Young-Ah Tak to make a technically challenging program seem deceptively easy... Read more
By Tim Gaylard
April 17, 2012
On Monday night, Maestro David Stewart Wiley and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra reached into the colorful repertoire of Russian music to serve up a rich feast for a near-capacity crowd of 770 at Jefferson Center. In the second half of the program, Korean-born pianist Young-Ah Tak was on hand to play the widely popular Piano Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninoff with the orchestra. Altogether, it was a very successful evening of fine music-making... Read more
New York Concert Review Inc.
By Harry Saltzman
March 8, 2012
There was a buzz in the air preceding this concert. Was this just an excited audience of friends and colleagues, or was there something about the pianist I didn’t know? My curiosity was peaked. And just a few moments into Young-Ah Tak’s New York debut recital, one realized that something special was happening; we were in the presence of an extraordinary pianist...
By Richard Storm Correspondent
February 26, 2012
Young-Ah Tak, in her first recital as an official Steinway Artist, provided ample justification for having received this prestigious designation. The recital room at Pritchard's Pianos and Organs was an appropriate setting for this modern salon concert, even though its intimacy was sometimes tested by the sheer volume of sound created by both the instrument and the performer...
International Piano Korea
By Chang In-Jong, music critic
It was an extremely impressive recital. With a slight exaggeration, it was as if the performance by Young-Ah Tak on this night contained each element of Western music in an optimal condition inspiring people artistically. The tension and ease contained in the harmonic progress of each piece was presented in many layers, the horizontal progression constantly had a rhythmical breathing, and the wide ranges of dynamic and diverse tones were also appropriately molded and placed according to the context...
Piano Music Magazine
By Seo Ju-won, music critic
It seems as if great performers are born that way. After all, we only see the results on the stage. Young-Ah Tak, an active performer based in the United States, recently gave a piano recital in Seoul. It was her first recital in three years in Korea, entitled, “Pure & Elegant Spring.” With her unique artistic sensibility, she presented the poetic mood of a pure and elegant spring. The program she presented consisted of pieces from the classical and romantic periods. The first half included a Beethoven Sonata and transcriptions by Franz Liszt and A. Schulz-Evler. For the second half, a sonata by Franz Schubert was performed...
By Cary McMullen
November 11, 2010
A new star has risen in Lakeland. With her performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 on Tuesday with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Young-ah Tak demonstrated beyond doubt that she has a bright future as a concert pianist. Tak gave a brilliant performance of the fiendishly demanding concerto, awing audience and orchestra alike... Read more
International Piano Korea
By Kim In-il (Professor emeritus at Pusan National University’s School of Music)
The first time I heard Young-Ah Tak was in 2005, at the Isang Yun International Piano Competition in Tongyeong. She performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54, and I felt it was a very serious, dignified and sensitive performance, unlike many generic performances of the piece we hear...
By Lee Hyun-Hee, music critic
Pianist Young-Ah Tak gave a solo recital at Kumho Art Hall on August 13. With her youthful and fresh energy, Young-Ah Tak is an internationally known pianist. Her performances have been described by the San Antonio Express-News as “a thrilling blend of fury and finesse.” She is currently a doctorate candidate at the Peabody Conservatory working with the world-renowned pianist Leon Fleisher... Read more
By Rorianne Schrade
May 02, 2007
Prize winning pianist Young-Ah Tak has some impressive credentials behind her, but judging by an outstanding recital recently, one expects her future to be even brighter. Having studied with an illustrious group of teachers including Russell Sherman (New England Conservatory), Martin Canin Ouilliard), and Leon Fleisher (Peabody), she naturally possesses a high-gloss polish; what is most striking, though, is her winning combination of passion, imagination, and integrity... Read more
CD: Pure Colors: Music by Judith Lang Zaimont
By Glyn Pursglove
To describe Judith Lang Zaimont as an ‘academic composer’ is fair and accurate provided that one intends the epithet to function simply as a means of pointing to the fact that she has been employed in academia throughout most of her working life... Read more
By Blair Sanderson
A collection of short pieces composed for members of the music faculty at the University of Minnesota, Pure Colors, Judith Lang Zaimont's 2005 album on Albany, has the relaxed, comfortable feeling that comes through a composer's familiarity with a close circle of performers... Read more