- Virginia Gazette
“Tao…surpassed reputation. He delivered an intense, involved, passion-inspired performance that was one of the most thrilling to be heard on stage with this symphony. His was a very physical delivery. Tao seemed to become one with the instrument and the score; he moved about constantly on the piano bench, often, in moments of heightened emphasis rising up from the bench, his feet frequently moving about and not strictly on the pedals. As he molded the lush lines of the piece, he seemed transfixed, his eyes closed, his head tossed backward in dream-like fashion.
Tao was the master of the Rachmaninoff and its many moods, offering inspired lyricism and ponderous power. As for technique, his defined virtuoso in a brilliant display of total musicianship and artistry. Even though the Rachmaninoff was a major workout, Tao generously responded to his thunderous and spontaneous applause with an encore of Elliot Carter’s “Catenaires,” a devilishly difficult work. The chordless work is a nonstop rapid fire delivery of notes that bounce all over the keyboard in what might seem haphazard fashion, offering colorful and often dissonant combinations of sound, all carried off to perfection.”