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
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
Pike’s interpretation was cool, modern and spontaneous, alive to every yearning, falling phrase and sensuous nuance, combined with beautiful quality of sound, and rhapsodic moments of haunting mystery, particularly in the final movement.
31 July 2012
Building upon her brilliant achievement in 2002 of winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the tender age of 12, Jennifer Pike has become an international star, and her performance here of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto was evidence enough for that. Pike’s technique readily surmounted the embedded difficulties of this most virtuosic concerto… The double stopping and harmonics in Pike’s cadenza proclaimed breathtaking bravura and the foregone prospect of applause, duly acknowledged. The slow movement was beautifully drawn and a setup for the ensuing finales epic pursuit of perpetual movement. Its Russian credentials encouraged some earthy timbres from her 1708 Goffriller instrument with Pinheiro ensuring orchestral colour in support.
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Bournemouth SO
30 November 2013
Former BBC Young Musician of the Year, violinist Jennifer Pike, played Kreisler’s Tambourin Chinois with a dignified passion and displayed a tremendous juxtaposition of artistic flair and humility.
BBC Scottish SO
30 November 2013