Press Quotes

"[an] excellent pianist"

Robert GottliebThe New York Observer

"Magical." - on Mr. Varga’s performance of Schumann’s Fantasy op. 17

Wolfgang SchreiberSüddeutsche Zeitung

"Varga won over the Hartford audience... and they greeted him with a standing ovation"

Jeffrey JohnsonThe Hartford Courant

"Explosive . . . [He is] the greatest young Romanian pianist. . . . [He] astonished the audience."

Enescu Festival News

"[Michael Hersch]’s insanely difficult ten part piano concerto . . . gave the Romanian pianist Matei Varga, who lives in New York, the opportunity to deliver a brilliant, highly emotional and virtuosic performance that fascinated the audience for forty minutes."

Ana von BulowDie Neue Musikzeitung

"[T]he meaning of his music was ear-boggling, for he is a fearless performer. . . . dazzling assurance . . . incredible octave passages . . . magical . . . luminous. . . . Like a metaphor of Mr. Varga’s picture of Central Europe, tragic, soulful, ebullient, offering life and death as a touching ensemble."

Harry Rolnick ConcertoNet

"…Varga’s playing is consistently sensitive, flowing, and resonant, which suits these particular pieces very well… he clearly has an affinity to these specific works and has thought them through very well before committing them to disc. It is, in a word, selfless playing, in which he is giving us the music and not his personality, and I for one find that refreshing." - on the George Enescu album (Naxos 2010)

Lynn Rene BayleyFanfare

"Varga tears into the sinew of this music with greater bite and forcefulness" - on the George Enescu album (Naxos 2010)

Alan BeckerAmerican Record Guide

"This is more than a musical partnership; it’s two lives that depend on each other, and it’s an absolutely thrilling, breathtaking marvel to behold. Varga is so fantastic, and so is Buruiana, that they both deserve top billing." - on the Brahms Cello Sonatas album (Coviello Classics, 2012)

Jerry DubinsFanfare

"Matei Varga shone in Schumann’s highly expressive Fantasy and Mihai Maniceanu’s explosive novelty."

Berliner Morgenpost

"[H]is every phrase conveyed intelligence and a burning sense of musical mission. . . . Mr. Varga played with consummate care and fidelity without ever sounding fussy or pedantic . . . listeners were rapt, utterly motionless and silent. . . . there was clearly an exceptional mind at work."

Rorianne SchradeNew York Concert Review

"Laura Metcalf and Matei Varga make for superb company. Their partnership is utterly natural, as one would expect from performers who have collaborated for over a decade." - on the album First Day (Sono Luminus, 2016)

Brian ReinhartMusicWeb International

Reviews for EARLY DEPARTURES - Sono Luminus, 2018


"[A] grand and wonderfully lugubrious new release from the young Romanian pianist Matei Varga... [Dumitrescu's] nine piano preludes recorded here are largely vivacious and full of dense keyboard intricacies that Varga exploits splendidly... Janácek’s swirling, Impressionist masterpiece...gets an appealingly fluid performance. The slow movement of Bach’s D-Minor Concerto...closes out the disc like a serene funeral benediction."
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"Varga taps into the expressive sound world of Janacek's In the Mists, employing ample rubato and generally measured tempos. Indeed he transforms the Andantino into a moody tone poem... The pianist closes with the Adagio from the Bach D Minor concerto after Marcello. The gentle inward reading realizes Varga's soothing, calming intention... [A] a beautifully executed and engineered achievement, that does this talented young pianist proud."
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“Varga's poignant homage to composers who died far too young includes delightful world premieres by Romanian pianist Dinu Lipatti."


"The performances are exquisite... they show a fine sense of shaping a lyrical melodic line with perfect tonal control"


“Make no mistake, this artist is not yet another dazzling firebrand eagerly ready for his next interview and photo-op combo, but a deeply serious musician well in the midst of a major career."
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"Matei Varga pours as much emotion into [this] performance as I can recall hearing before on record... his ideas are powerful and convincing... [He] has certainly given us much of himself on this excellent recording, and it deserves a place on the shelf of any collection of fine piano music."
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Alex Baran, THE WHOLE NOTE (Toronto)

“Varga’s performance of their work is a welcome document on great talents we might have watched grow into towering maturity. Tudor Dumitrescu, for example, killed at the age of 19 in the 1997 earthquake that struck Bucharest, was, by a few recorded accounts, another Van Cliburn. His 7 Preludes, Preludes in C Sharp Minor and B Minor are heartfelt works revealing a fluid writing style, and profound understanding of his instrument. His emotional maturity is striking.”
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Ana-Maria Botnaru, WEBCULTURA.RO (Romania)

“…[Dumitrescu’s] 7 Preludes, as performed by Matei Varga, represent a musical, cultural and spiritual restitution, of the most overwhelming kind. Deeply influenced by Tudor Dumitrescu’s genius and his tragic destiny, Varga earns him a place among the immortals… This disc is not just a musical project - it is a symbolic gesture, deep and serious, of outstanding importance… Varga, an exceptional performer who is himself touched by genius, fully understands Dumitrescu and Lipatti, and makes them his own…”
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