PRESS

“… Osorio gave one of those, ‘where have you been all my life performances’ under music director Manfred Honeck. …The Mexican pianist unveiled a luxurious tone capable of immeasurable variation”
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

SEPTEMBER 29, 2012
JANELLE GELFAND

Osorio delivered a performance that matched elegance with brilliance, and he did it with effortless virtuosity
“The orchestral postcards began with Falla’s music from “El amor brujo” and the fragrant ‘Nights in the Gardens of Spain,’ which included the impressive debut of Mexican-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio. Osorio delivered a performance that matched elegance with brilliance, and he did it with effortless virtuosity. The collaboration had him weaving cascades of runs, glissandos and glittering figures between orchestral themes, occasionally breaking through with a beautifully shaped solo. He handled it all with a refined touch and found expressive beauty in every phrase, with never a sign of harshness. Frühbeck led in sweeping brushstrokes, catching the mystery of distant dances or the profuse colors of a garden. He was in tune with the pianist, even in the most spontaneous moments. For an encore, Osorio continued the mood with Enrique Granados’ ‘Andaluza’ piano solo from ‘Spanish Dances.’”

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE

JULY 16, 2010
JOHN VON RHEIN

Jorge Federico Osorio, CSO master Beethoven concerto cycle
“Osorio, a resident of Highland Park since 1999, is a serious and cultivated Beethoven player…. Osorio’s accounts of the first three concertos – presented in order of composition, with Concerto No. 2 preceding No. 1 – revealed a clarity of mind as well as line, articulation and musical structure. In each case he commanded attention by showing us not the brilliant virtuoso (although he is certainly that) but by casting light on Beethoven’s thought processes and stylistic evolution.”

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CHICAGO CLASSICAL REVIEW

JULY 16, 2010
DENNIS POLKOW

Osorio’s Beethoven a revelation on every level at Ravinia
“Osorio’s performances of all three concertos proved revelatory on virtually every level. Though it is often said that early Beethoven concertos are Mozartean, Osorio actually played aspects of them as if they were by Mozart, albeit Mozart experienced through a fun-house mirror.

Particularly fascinating were Osorio’s buoyant ornamentation and rubato, which never intruded but always felt organic and inevitable. Often pianists feel the need to telegraph the Romanticism to come, but Osorio highlighted Beethoven’s expansions of Classicism with subtlety through timbral and dynamic nuances rather than with hyper-intensified touch or over-pedaling.

Not surprisingly, the virtually capacity crowd knew it was experiencing something quite special and the ovations reflected that: immense applause after the Second Piano Concerto and instantaneous standing ovations after No. 1, the best performed of the evening, and again after No. 3. ”

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THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

JUNE 12, 2009
TIMOTHY MANGAN

The season finale unveils a new work for organ and orchestra

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2009
ANDREW DRUCKENBROD

Pianist, Pittsburgh Symphony bring out magic of Brahms, Dvorak

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THE NEW YORK TIMES

JANUARY 24, 2007
ALLAN KOZINN

Returning to New York, Forcefully

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Selected Press Acclaim

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Liszt Concerto No. 2 in A Major
“With his sterling technique Osorio can roar through this beloved Romantic concerto with the best of them; and certainly the clarity and strength with which he dispatched the furious octave runs of the final section, at top speed, kept the excitement quotient high. But the musician in Osorio prevented self-regarding display from rearing its unseemly head. Osorio can summon a firmly weighted tone when he needs to, while his rhythmic reflexes are more than a match for Liszt’s scampering flights of bravura fancy. When joined in duet with John Sharp’s cello, his sound took on a purling, cantabile quality. The orchestra proved on good behavior under Frühbeck’s watchful eye and ear, and the audience responded with a generous ovation.”

– Chicago Tribune

Liszt Concerto No. 2 in A Major
“It takes a certain type of artistry to make Liszt’s vapid concertos into something more substantial, and Wednesday night with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Jorge Federico Osorio achieved more than most. The Mexican pianist has technique to burn and handled the fusillade of notes almost faultlessly, hurdling all of Liszt’s ludicrous complexities with poetry and a lean digital brilliance. More importantly, Osorio deftly underplayed the bombast and unhealthy vulgarity and made the single-movement concerto a more elegant and organic work.”

– Chicago Classical Review

Liszt Concerto No. 2 in A Major
“…there was the welcome appearance of Mexico-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio. This renowned son of Mexico City, now a resident of Highland Park, is an artist worthy of the world’s great stages but has appeared only sparingly with his adopted city’s principal orchestra. …Osorio has turned out an impressive homecoming this week, even when one hankered for a stronger artistic barometer than Liszt’s pretty but superficial Piano Concerto No. 2. (In July at Ravinia, he will perform all five of Beethoven’s concertos.) Osorio’s reverence for this concerto runs deep. And he was able to cast Liszt more as a magnetic musical personality than a dazzling tune-spinner. This quick, one-movement concerto unfolds like an extended variation on a single theme, but it is a pretty theme, and the lyric sweetness of the music shone brightly under Osorio’s luminously strong voicing. As the tune played out in its many guises, there was no more touching moment than when Osorio engaged principal cellist John Sharp in a warmly moving dialogue. When the orchestra took over the lead, Osorio proved as brilliant a Liszt technician there is and rendered those messy scales into poetry.”

– Chicago Sun Times

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
“…fearless virtuosity, deep lyrical feeling and tonal splendor…. He played the famous 18th variation like an inspired improvisation.”

– Chicago Tribune

Liszt Totentanz
“Based on the Dies Irae, a simple medieval-era plainchant used by composers from Berlioz to Verdi and beyond, Liszt’s Totentanz is a set of variations that careers between heavenly quiet and hellish cacophony. Osorio reveled in all of it, making sure we never lost track of the main theme, even as his massive, keyboard-devouring runs thundered away from its comforting contours. He fully explored Liszt’s few introspective moments as well, setting out mordant echoes of the Dies Irae with Bach-like serenity. The orchestra was a. fully involved partner, offering vivid splashes of color that ranged from joyful outbursts of brass to groaning cellos.”

– Chicago Sun-Times

Liszt Totentanz
“Totentanz is both a piano concerto in miniature and a scintillating series of variations on Dies Irae. The showpiece can easily sound empty and vulgar in the wrong hands. Osorio, fortunately, is much too sensitive a musician to pump up all that Lisztian diablerie for cheap, self-aggrandizing effect. To be sure, the virtuoso voltage was there – the pianist’s sweeping glissandos and flying octaves could hardly have been cleaner or more incisive – but so was the poetic sensibility.”

– Chicago Tribune

Seattle Symphony Orchestra Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2
“The opening piano statement (Brahms at his most magisterial) requires an orchestral sound from the keyboard, and a technique that can navigate huge leaps. …He [Osorio] has a very extensive palette of musical effects, and used them to remarkable advantage: a touch that can sound velvety and mysterious, or percussive and sonorous, and a poetic sensibility that serves the music well.”

– Seattle Times

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1
“Osorio…has both the muscle for Prokofiev and a firm grip on the musical structure of the piece. In a crisp but unhurried performance, Osorio and conductor Eduardo Mata revealed the considerable constructive powers of a composer often dismissed as a mere noisemaker. The spectacular elements were played down, allowing the music to speak for itself. Osorio, the featured artist in this year’s Gina Bachauer Memorial Concert, held the sensuous and the structural aspects of Prokofiev in flawless balance.”

– Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“…Osorio played the irrepressible First Concerto of Serge Prokofiev. …His playing was kinetic and of bull’s eye accuracy. The orchestra caught and reflected much of the energy of Osorio’s playing…”

– Dallas Morning News

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15
“Tapped by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to step in for the ailing pianist Horacio Gutierrez (who himself had been subbing for an ill Rudolph Buchbinder), Osorio gave one of those, “where have you been all my life” performances under music director Manfred Honeck. Osorio…is known in musical circles for his Brahms, and he delivered in the composer’s symphony-turned-concerto, the Piano Concerto No. 1. The Mexican pianist unveiled a luxurious tone capable of immeasurable variation. In fact, his strength was never submitting to an uncomplicated approach. Brahms was conflicted in this work, which he began as a response to Beethoven’s dominating symphonic output, and Osorio captured that with rich and layered approach, such as a measure of elegance in the furious sections to underlying power in the lyrical sections. He poured on weight only in certain key sections, and the result, along with Honeck’s direction, was an emotional, up-and-down reading or a work that is exactly so.”

– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Kansas City Symphony Falla “Nights in the Gardens of Spain”
“…he sought out depths in this rather lightweight piece, revealing glimpses of a profundity of artistry.”

– The Kansas City Star

Amsterdam Concertgebouw Schumann Piano Concerto, Op. 54
“The Concertgebouw of Amsterdam’s prolonged visit in Mexico started with a magical evening last week at Nezahualcoyotl Hall. …Pianist Jorge Federico Osorio opened the series and will also close it… …[Osorio] eschewed all caution and played with audacious sensitivity and vulnerability vis-à-vis Haitink’s no-nonsense approach. The orchestral support was solid and, again perfect.”

– The News, Mexico City

Singapore Symphony Orchestra Franck Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestral; Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini
“Osorio’s double-bill performance of Franck’s Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini showed a preference for smoothening out dynamic differences, an approach akin to that of the eminent conductor Herbert von Karajan. …One of the most endearing themes of all time, the Rhapsody seemed especially to benefit from Osorio’s delicate approach. …when Osorio performs, his whole persona grips the music. His music demands that you listen. Indeed, Osorio possesses a quality only befitting the best living Latin American pianist.”

– Singapore Times

Mexico City Philharmonic Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor
“…a rousing and stylish performance of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, one full of individual touches and informed by an attractive spontaneity. It also had an easy virtuosity in abundance, but even more: a tight grasp of the work’s emotional core.”

– Los Angeles Times

Galicia Symphony Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73 “Emperor”
“The Complutense University (Madrid) has presented to a varied, enthusiastic and unprejudiced audience the complete series of Beethoven Piano Concertos, with the outstanding Galicia Symphony, excellenty conducted by its music director Pablo Perez. Soloists: Romanian Valentin Gheorgiu, Viennese Paul Badura-Skoda, Spanish Manuel Achucarro, Belgian Jean Claude van den Eyden and Mexican Jorge Federico Osorio, who performed the “Emperor” Concerto. This … prestigious interpreter has been the most interesting of those listened to. …he has an important technique in all aspects. Osorio fills the hall with his sound, which is also attractive by its velvety quality. If in the most complex passages he conquers and convinces, in the exploration of the most intimate he shows us the root of a pure and deep artist. …this is an artist of stature: confident, communicative, rigorous and warm. The collaboration with Victor Pablo and the musicians from Galicia was masterful. Rarely can we hear everything with such extraordinary continuity, excellent accentuation and breathing. The triumph was exceptional.”

– El Pais (translated)

New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major
“The Piano Concerto No. 4 was the last concerto that Beethoven would perform in public as his encroaching deafness made collaborative playing all but impossible. From the opening chords the warmth of Osorio’s playing became manifest coupled with dexterous passagework as smooth as pouring oil. The second movement has often been likened to Orpheus (playing a piano rather than a lute) charming the Furies, the witches of hell. So successful was he that they become instead his guardian angels through the underworld of the robust final movement. The communion between orchestra and soloist was superb resulting in a performance graced by an immediate standing ovation….”

– Santa Fe Journal

Pasadena Symphony
Ravel Piano Concerto in D for Left Hand
“To find a great performance, one had to look no further than Jorge Federico Osorio’s reading of the Ravel Left-Handed Piano Concerto. Written for one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein, whose limb was a casualty of World War I, the work suggests something about the triumph of human spirit over adversity. Osorio took on that lofty purpose together with the music’s unique challenges. …In its two cadenzas, he shaped bold statements with powerful musculature and rounded the gentle whiffs with graceful sensitivity. His cascading arpeggios were full and strong. He made one hand sound like two, his thumb etching a lyrical line into relief while his other fingers rippled over distant keys.”

– Pasadena Star-News, CA

Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor
“Pianist Jorge Federico Osorio joined orchestra and conductor for the Grieg and provided ample justification for this beautiful work. A hearing under these excellent conditions reveals the work’s melodic beauty, its sheer musical power and always refined grace. Osorio played with a fiery elegance, providing power when necessary and lyric point when called for.”

– Pasadena Star-News, CA

Long Beach Symphony Ravel Piano Concerto in D for Left Hand
“One of the more elegant and accomplished pianists on the planet, Jorge Federico Osorio has been playing with our local orchestras over the past two decades. He always brings new insights, eloquent readings and an effortless virtuosity to all his assignments. …In…Ravel’s daunting Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Osorio’s natural subtlety commanded and outlined the passion in the work…”

– Los Angeles Times

San Antonio Symphony Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor
“Jorge Federico Osorio was the powerful and poetic soloist in the Grieg. …Grieg’s lyrical concerto is one of the most overexposed in the repertoire, but Osorio revealed depths in this music that raised the performance above the routine. In his flexible phrasing and the huge, dark sound he summoned from the Steinway, Osorio allowed nocturnal shadows to play among the glittering pyrotechnics, especially in the solo cadenza of the first movement.”

– San Antonio Express-News

Pacific Symphony
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in Eb Major, Op. 73
“Taking a breather from the Mexican theme, pianist Jorge Federico Osorio joined the orchestra before the break for a performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. This was a marvelous reading. Osorio’s finger work was extra clear but never cold; his tone has a luminous and plush quality at all times. His phrasing was forward-leaning (he never dawdles) and yet never merely crisp and efficient but filled with all sorts of elucidating punctuation and oratorical drama. The slow movement didn’t merely float, but spoke in clear sentences too.”

– Orange County Register

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

“Osorio…commanded, caressed and re-created Rachmaninoff’s familiar Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with stunning authority and a nuanced musical poetry. He made the F-major variation a thrilling cascade of jewels: pearly notes in a diamond-hard setting. He delivered the famous 18th variation with deep understatement: When the melody appeared, it was like a quiet and unexpected confession of love.”

– Los Angeles Times

Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra Mozart Concerto No. 23 for Piano in A Major
“Pianist Jorge Osorio delivered the most sublime performance of Mozart’s Concerto No. 23 for Piano in A Major in the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s all Mozart Classic’s Concert on Saturday night at The Victory. With great musicianship, authority and sensitivity, he achieved perfection in a very beautiful work. From the sprightly opening of the first movement to the singing melancholy of the second, then incomparable trills and runs of the sensational third, the audience was gifted by a first-rate performance. Then Osorio graced the concert with a remarkable encore form Bach’s First Partita — a gentle, masterful performance which made for a perfect ending.”

– Evansville Courier & Press

Grant Park Symphony
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2
“Osorio is clearly a pianist with technique to burn, which he demonstrated in a quite exhilarating performance. The finger-breaking outer movements held no terrors for him, with a flawless first-movement cadenza and a rhythmically sharp, hell-for-leather finale, all the more exciting for Osorio’s firm technical control. …In the central Adante, Osorio spun a seamless poetic line, his playing beautifully sustained… A great performance.”

– Chicago Tribune

Ponce Piano Concerto
“Ponce’s Piano Concerto would make a fascinating item for a blind listening. Although written in 1910, the work is a Romantic throwback that could have been penned some 60 years earlier. Its three movements are grounded in the Lisztian tradition. …If you didn’t know the composer’s identity, you might guess a Romantic composer-pianist such as Scharwenka or Paderewski, except that the score’s tunefulness also echoes Rachmaninoff and MacDowell. Ponce must have been one of the great virtuoso pianists of his hemisphere because his concerto bristles with bravura demands that only a virtuoso can vanquish. Osorio threw himself into the piece with such panache that what might have sounded derivative instead sounded utterly persuasive. To make such a rarity sound easy to perform as well as enjoyable to those who have never heard it before requires a special talent, and Osorio has it. His technical solidity allowed him to grab double handfuls of notes at top speed, rarely missing a note. His dynamic control was such that thunderous chordal passages registered as clearly as light-fingered melodic filigree. Above all, he made music of the concerto, not mere display.”

– Chicago Tribune