A large audience at Shrewsbury Abbey was privileged to witness a remarkable performance of Elgar’s violin concerto by young violinist Jennifer Pike, accompanied by the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra under their charismatic conductor John Moore. As soon as she started, Jennifer had the full attention of the audience as her wonderfully rich tone soared across the Abbey.
We were transfixed by her calm authority and impressive technique as she quickly established a rapport with conductor and orchestra. In the second movement she was never dwarfed by the orchestra and this movement in particular demonstrated her ability to build and release musical tension with, seemingly, little effort. The final movement produced a scintillating display of violin pyrotechnics as the soloist coped admirably with the many technical challenges – bravura passage-work, dynamic contrasts, superb bow control and keen, yet unfussy, articulation were all admirable qualities in this performance, which culminated in a mesmerising cadenza. This was playing of the highest quality, and after prolonged and deserved applause she treated us to a Bach Sarabande as an encore.
Bob Wysome, shropshirelive.com
Elgar Violin Concerto, Shrewsbury SO
25 May 2016
Eschewing an overly flashy, self-interested performance which focused only on flair, Pike brought an elegant intelligence…Her playing was assured, bowing smooth and particularly nimble in her silver-toned reading of the firecracker third movement, where her accuracy couldn’t be faulted. An encore of the third movement of Ysaÿe’s Violin Sonata no. 2 in A minor, Op.27 no.2 was an unsurprisingly intelligent choice, with fine pizzicato and tonal clarity on display.
Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack
Bruch Violin Concerto, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
29 November 2016
This was music-making the like of which one rarely comes across….Above all, time after time, she displays turns of phrase and expression that simply cannot be taught. . we had been privileged witnesses to a remarkable performance.
John Sidgwick, Culture Kiosque
Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, BBC SO
30 November 2006
Pike captivated the Symphony Hall audience with a brilliant rendition of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Every note of this perennial favourite was spot on, and played with feeling.
30 November 2007
Mighty, impassioned climaxes in the first two movements as well as some wonderfully supple, nuanced playing in the second, and a finale mixing fire and reverie with a powerful sense of musical purpose.
31 October 2009