Andrius Žlabys

Pianist & Composer

“His easy virtuosity is a wonder.” — The Strad

“...Contemplative and mesmerizing...” — Los Angeles Times

“Pianist-composer Andrius Zlabys is one of the most gifted young keyboard artists to emerge in years.” – Chicago Tribune

“…tasteful, communicative and utterly absorbing.” — The New York Times

“ A Shining Hope of Pianists… It is not an especially happy time for pianists. But there are glimmers on the horizon – including Andrius Zlabys … Actually, Mr. Zlabys is more than a glimmer: For some time now, he has been shining... In all three [Intermezzos by Brahms, Opus. 117] he showed extraordinary refinement and artistry – a word not to be taken lightly.” Metropolitan Museum of Art Debut. — The New York Sun

“…there [was] heat as well as intellect; here, his most adventurous interpretive decisions made sense…There was a sense of Bach breaking through inner barriers. Such playing was the work of genius…” — The Philadelphia Inquirer

“The beloved C-major chord arpeggios that begin The Well-Tempered Clavier Book One rippled off of Zlabys' hands with such open-hearted rightness that you couldn't escape the notion that the pianist was acting as Bach's ventriloquist... “ — The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Bracing and exhilarating, his playing is the work of a major talent...” — The Philadelphia Inquirer

“…Andrius Zlabys is emerging as an intellectual firebrand. He seems not to spare a single brain cell in scrutinizing the great works of the piano literature for meaning, and delivers it all at the keyboard with unflinching clarity... Zlabys’ pianist sound is generous and all encompassing... The digital precision of pianist Andrius Zlabys revealed any given harmonic profile with blinding clarity.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer

“The other important presence is an offstage, amplified pianist (Andrius Zlabys) whose playing forces the music to change direction by its sheer size and weight, like Godzilla. During that touching close of the piece, Godzilla, still offstage, turns tender and cradles the violin; in a brief epilogue the violin flits away, leaving the listener with thoughts both profound (“I heard a fly buzz when I died” — Emily Dickinson) and profane (what would Godzilla do with a mosquito?)”. — The Boston Globe

“A virtuoso of fabulous technique and romantic temperament, he performed like an authentic heir to the grand masters of 19th century keyboard tradition”. — The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“…through the intense interaction between Gidon Kremer and Andrius Zlabys, the composition became instrumental drama of incredible intensity.” — Online Music Magazine

“Kremer and Zlabys conceived the piece as a single cry of rage over the lost harmony, the incompatibility of G minor and atonality.” Teatro Colón. — Juan Carlos Montero, La Nación (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

“On stage appeared a young robust Lithuanian pianist (…) Andrius Zlabys to perform Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 1 ... His playing was precise, crystal clear and with much variation in sound, without any sustaining pedal, very expressive and in the Baroque style. In the third movement he brought out a propulsive rhythm and created a wonderful interpretation.” Teatro Colón. — Paul Kohan, La Nación (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

“The 25-year-old Lithuanian conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla won’t soon forget the prize winners’ concert with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra at the Felsenreitschule. After intermission, the Salzburg Festival director Alexander Pereira announced that because pianist Andrius Zlabys had found himself on a stool that squeaked, the middle movement of the Mozart Piano Concerto in C (K.467) would be repeated. That would insure a coherent recording to be heard on Austrian Radio 1 and on the CD recording of the program. The conductor led Alfred Schnittke’s Ritual — In Memory of the Victims of the Second World War, and Stravinsky’s 1947 version of the ballet, Petrouchka. And also the Mozart concerto with her fellow Lithuanian, Andrius Zlabys. The pianist did not take the path of the virtuoso, but as a fabulous collaborator, a first among equals, sensitive to the sounds within the orchestra. His sense of the structural proportions helped him create mini-dialogues with instrumental groups in the admirable Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra.” — Karl Harb, Salzburger Nachrichten

“The full-voiced orchestra was reduced in size for the Salzburg Festival debut of pianist Andrius Zlabys. In Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C (K.467), the pianist made the flow of the music sound like pearls from his fingers. And he was careful to exalt the sound of the famous Andante on the keyboard. A piece of luck: The piano stool squeaked, which did not please the recording technicians. So for the immense pleasure of the listeners, Zlabys and the orchestra repeated the movement… The result will not be just a cut on Austrian Radio, but, as in past years, the concert will be heard also on CD. That way, listeners can hear the difference in balance and sonority of the orchestra’s Petrouchka (1947 version). The concert was simply sensational. The hope remains for a quick return of these Festival worthy performers.” — Von Horst Reischenboeck, DrehPunktKultur

“The Early Works” program featured curios like Britten’s Young Apollo, an over-the-top pageant of rococo flourishes, played by Andrius Zlabys, a fine pianist, against excited painting from the orchestra.” Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall Debut. — Anne Midgette, The New York Times

“…the sensitivity and coruscating sound of the Lithuanian-born pianist Andrius Zlabys mark him as a player to watch.” — The New York Times

“The offstage pianist Andrius Zlabys, was a suitably ghostly presence, providing the surprising bursts of sound in the earlier movements, and the gentle, singing melody over the decaying string chord in the final pages.” A. Schnittke, Concerto Grosso No. 5 for Violin, invisible piano and orchestra. Avery Fisher Hall, The New York Philharmonic. — Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

“The young Lithuanian pianist Andrius Zlabys performed with a brilliant sound, remarkable professionalism, impeccable articulation, stunning sound quality, with ranges in his playing that touched shades of pristine delicacy — Bach in his fullness... Aiming high, Zlabys offered the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor for Keyboard, adjusting the playing style and phrasing to be almost linear with little use of the pedal.” — Juan Carlos Montero, La Nación (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

“Gidon Kremer and pianist Andrius Zlabys offered a page of infinite beauty, a transcription for violin and piano by Yevgeniy Sharlat of a composition for harmonium or organ by Franck, performed with magical perfection, not only by the beauty of Kremer’s sound, but also by the filigree delicacy of touch of Andrius Zlabys at the piano.” — Juan Carlos Montero, La Nación (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

“And again the lesson of an exceptional pianist to maintain balance, to caress the keyboard, not hitting a single chord, despite the richness, complexity and prominence that Brahms gave to the instrument of the soul.” Teatro Colón. — Juan Carlos Montero, La Nación (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

“Andrius Zlabys… once again poured probing artistry into his program. In Beethoven’s Sonata in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2 (“Tempest”), he conveyed the turbulence through the most refined etching. He brought bountiful sweep and vibrancy to Chopin’s Etude in C Minor, Op. 25, No. 12 and made a torrential rant of Shostakovich’s Sonata No. 1, Op. 12. The latter is a conflagration in sound, with keyboard assaults and macabre corners that Zlabys evoked for all their brilliant and acerbic worth.” — The Plain Dealer

“Here [Debussy’s Clair de Lune] Zlabys created the aura of moonlit shimmer that the music suggests but rarely is given. Elsewhere in the suite, he used a purposeful arsenal of colors, control and rhythmic definition to convey the charming folk materials. Zlabys traveled through the brooding and fervent terrain of the Franck work with enormous patience as well as urgency. And the Prokofiev was a triumph of will over acerbic, troubled musical odds. The perpetual-motion finale, with its accents and motoric rhythm, set the stage for the loudest cheers…” — The Plain Dealer

“A virtuoso of fabulous technique and romantic temperament, he performed like an authentic heir to the grand masters of 19th-century keyboard tradition... He lavished works from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras with rich tone, clean articulation, expressive dynamics, a variety of eloquent touches and generous use of the sustaining pedal. A compelling presence at the piano, Zlabys demonstrated the validity of his approach in the opening work, Bach’s Partita No. 6 in E Minor. He played the toccata with clarity, excitement and a sense of mystery. In the Beethoven Sonata in E Major, Op. 109 he shaped a spell-binding interpretation that capitalized on the work’s dramatic contrasts.” — The Plain Dealer

“Zlabys offered a brilliantly touching performance…” — The Durango Herald

Zlabys is a fantastic Mozart player. Simple as that. He has a way of animating each idea, and he shaped phrases with wonderful delicacy and variety. He made this music seem effortless. — Hartford Courant

“Extraordinary Recital... What is so attractive and somewhat mystifying about A. Zlabys’ artistic demeanor? His authentic, consciously cultivated direct and multifaceted connection with music. He finds this connection while improvising (let’s say in the Baroque style), composing his own music and, of course, performing: always personal and with a great sense of style, without a hint of formality, with great attention to detail and immense concentration... Music of S. Prokofiev, J. S. Bach and other composers chosen by the pianist in this recital sounded not like nostalgic symbols from the past, musical statues or epitaphs. It was as if all the authors were alive in the present and joining us in the hall.” — Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania)

“Andrius Zlabys is not only an intellectual performer who mastered professional secrets of the piano technique, but also a subtle artist who is able to reveal to the listener the aesthetic aura of the epoch as well as the essence of the composer’s intent.”— Dienovidis (Lithuania)

“He is a highly poetic performer who possesses a wealth of musical perception along with facile technique… Zlabys plays Bach with a security and insight that allow the listener to wallow in the composer’s genius. In Beethoven’s Sonata in E Major (Op. 109), Zlabys demonstrated both virtuosity and coloristic flair… He also gave a meticulously phrased account of Chopin’s poetic and demanding Ballade in A-flat major (Op. 47)” — The Greenville News (South Carolina)

“Rarely have I ever encountered so focused an interpreter as Andrius Zlabys, nor one with such towering command over the piano…” — Chestnut Hill Local (Pennsylvania)

“His style of Bach was big and bold, with pedaling where needed, and projecting clear musical lines in the contrapuntal passages and the occasional fugue. There were also surprising moments of soft tender lyrical playing with beautiful shaping of phrases… Most surprising was Mr. Zlabys’ lovely performance of Clair de Lune… It was simply the best live performance I had ever heard of this piece.” — Peninsula News (California)