Michael Stern - Reviews

Return to Michael Stern

"The program was designed for popular appeal, with Ma as the chief attraction. In the end, conductor Michael Stern seemed the most interesting part of the evening. He lit up the BSO, whether accompanying Ma or going to the movies with Bernstein." - Bernstein, Haydn, Williams, and Respighi featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE, August 28, 2016

“Then comes the big beast of the programme, but, as always, the crucial test is not so much the volume of the organ but the way in which the orchestral context of the symphony as a whole is established. Here Michael Stern impressively injects impetus into the first section’s sinewy fabric, alert to instrumental colour and the contrapuntal discipline and intrigue of the writing.“   - CD: Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony w/Kansas City Symphony, GRAMOPHONE, September 1, 2015

“Michael Stern is one of America‘s finest conductors... having carved out a distinguished career for himself, Stern the Younger continues to gift the market with award-winning releases... Happily, Michael Stern chooses a tempo to open the work which ensures that nothing runs together, and he also shapes the music with uncommon attention to detail. Every crescendo is so well-caught that the drama is naturally heightened.“   - CD: Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony w/ Kansas City Symphony, CLASSICAL NET, July 1, 2015

Kansas City Symphony’s performance of Mahler Symphony No. 5 magnificent.   - Mahler Symphony 5 and Haydn 22 w/ Kansas City Symphony, THE KANSAS CITY STAR, February 8, 2015

“Stern’s interpretation was straight-ahead and muscular, the voices digging into the line with a forward energy that had more width than depth.“   - Previn Double Concerto w/ Kansas City Symphony, THE KANSAS CITY STAR, January 18, 2015

“Music director Michael Stern conducted ‘The Rite of Spring‘ so demonstratively that he occasionally appeared to be practicing a frenetic form of martial arts. He maintained a deliberate pace during the meditative portions of Stravinsky’s work while embracing the chaos of its most tumultuous elements.“   - Stravinsky, Debussy and Brahms w/ Kansas City Symphony, THE KANSAS CITY STAR, January 11, 2015

“Stern brought out the best in the orchestra, in keeping with the concert‘s Opulence title given to the concert, with some particularly sumptuous string playing.“   - Tchaikovsky, Ravel and Strauss w/ the New Zealand Symphony, THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD, November 10, 2014

“Though the music shifted darker with tortured harmonies, as each moment peaked, Stern maintained excellent control of the suspended breath, with nice communication across the ensemble.“   - Wagner, Brahms, Mendelssohn w/ the Kansas City Symphony, THE KANSAS CITY STAR, October 26, 2014

“Fine form, crisp and expressive under Stern’s baton.“   - Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Bach w/ IRIS Orchestra, THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL, October 17, 2014

“Stern drew some fine playing and striking colours from the orchestra. He is not afraid to explore the extreme soft end of the dynamic range, but equally ready to summon up an almighty roar when needed. It all culminated in a vivid and exciting finale.“   - Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Appalachian Spring w/ Adelaide Symphony, THE ADVERTISER, October 5, 2014

“Stern brings the young Zubin Mehta to mind. He has a dynamic stick technique that commands rather than coaxes. Attacks are sharp and aggressive. Rhythms are clean and propulsive. He knows his way to a climax... He is someone we should be seeing more of.“   - Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Debut, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, December 12, 2010