Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Kevin John Edusei, conductor

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Violin Concerto in G minor


“It’s hard to imagine a finer advocate [for Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto] than Urioste, who dispensed gleaming tone, flawless technique and generous expressivity.”

Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News; January 8, 2022


Aurora Orchestra

Vaughan Williams 'The Lark Ascending' (arr. Iain Farrington)

“But for transfiguring loveliness nothing could beat Vaughan Williams’s meditative, war-haunted pastoral The Lark Ascending, with the guest artist Elena Urioste, sporting a startling patchwork dress, soaring most movingly on her violin, lifting our spirits ever higher the further she flew.”

Geoff Brown, The Times; March 1, 2021

“Urioste’s solo was sweet, effortless and relaxed, with breathy tone at the start of the solo passage in the lower registers, gradually warming up as the lark rises higher and higher, with a naturalistic rhythmic flexibility.”


Nick Boston, Bachtrack; February 28, 2021


“...soloist Elena Urioste conveyed passion with an unfailing ability to hold the listener’s attention. Here again, the video close-ups brought out the quality. I think I will hold in mind the image of the wing-like fluttering of her fingers at the beginning of the final cadenza for a very long time.”


Sebastian Scotney, The Arts Desk; February 27, 2021


BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Richard Farnes, conductor

Barber Violin Concerto, Op. 14

​"Elena Urioste’s beautifully expressive account of the moving slow movement of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto unfolded [...]"

"[The Barber] began with a masterclass in balance between the violin and the orchestra, with firmness of purpose from the conductor and relaxed command of the work by Urioste. A former student of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where Barber himself studied, the piece is clearly in her blood. When it came to the fireworks and drama of the Finale, the main regret, of course, was in not being able to see her dispatch it with such flourish."

Keith Bruch, Vox Carnyx; October 12, 2020


Recital with Tom Poster, piano

Wigmore Hall, London

broadcast live on BBC Radio 3

"...the rapport between Urioste and Poster produced a performance that was carefree in the very best sense."


"...there was much to admire in the interplay between the warm lyricism of Urioste's playing and Poster's dextrous articulation at the keyboard."


"Messiaen's Theme and Variations of 1932 [...] brought out the best in Urioste, as she allowed the long line of the rapturous final variation to unfurl with both control and eloquence."


Martin Kettle, the Guardian; October 3, 2020



Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective

Wigmore Hall; London

"There’s no more life-affirming piece than a well-played Beethoven Septet, and the ensemble here, expertly led by Urioste, fizzed, danced and dreamed their way through it with a refreshing lack of affectation."

Jessica Duchen, The Arts Desk; February 17, 2020


Chineke! Orchestra

Kevin John Edusei, conductor

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Violin Concerto in G minor, Op. 80

"The American violinist Elena Urioste brought the work everything it deserves: a rich, glowing tone, rhythmic panache, shedloads of charisma and a tenderness that cradled the slow movement as if it were the most precious jewel in the world. [...] It is high time this gorgeous concerto was heard more widely. Perhaps Chineke!’s tour will help to spread the word at last."

Jessica Duchen, The Arts Desk; November 8, 2019

"Young Mexican-American violinist Elena Urioste, one time BBC New Generation artist proved the ideal soloist, revealing the work’s guilelessly generous heart with her ringing pellucid tone and heroically sustained high notes. The orchestra and German/Ghanaian conductor Kevin John Edusei relished the music’s full-throated romanticism just as much as she did, while giving space to her lyrical outpourings."

Ivan Hewett and John Allison, The Telegraph; November 9, 2019

"Elena Urioste made it [...] absolutely her own, displaying a lightness of touch as well as a rich tone (particularly in the low-string passages and the cadenza in the first movement) that brought out to the full the piece’s charm."

Barry Creasy, musicOMH; November 7, 2019


BBC Symphony Orchestra

Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending

​"Elena Urioste’s marvellous playing gave us the poet's “silver chain of sound”, starting with the first truly quiet playing of the evening, so that we imagined a lark rising in the distance. She evoked too those avian sonic acrobats with a gleaming tone wedded to sure technique, every “chirrup, whistle, slur and shake” thrown off with bird-like spontaneity."

Roy Westbrook, bachtrack; November 2, 2019


ROMANCE: The Piano Music of Clara Schumann

Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano

Clara Schumann Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22

"...the piano and violin Romances [...] are winningly garnished here with heartfelt playing by the violinist Elena Urioste."

Geoff Brown, The Times; July 12, 2019



London Schools Symphony Orchestra

Richard Farnes, conductor

Barber Violin Concerto, Op. 14


"[...] the LSSO appeared positively inspired for its partnership of Elena Urioste. [...] From those first bars, it was clear that Urioste and Farnes were as one, allowing the music to speak and express the composer’s originality and expressive character. Urioste was quite outstanding, tossing off the occasional fearsome difficulties with genuine musical technique. Barber’s violin-writing for soloist and orchestra is not wholly idiomatic, but the difficulties it poses were fully mastered by all concerned and one must also commend the balance, which was well-nigh-ideal."

Robert Matthew-Walker, Classical Source; May 19, 2019



Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Vasily Petrenko, conductor

Korngold Violin Concerto, Op. 35


"Violinist Elena Urioste drew out the expansive themes of the first movement before an explosive cadenza. The shimmering opening to the slow movement was conveyed with supreme sensitivity, with intimate passages of gossamer lightness.

Urioste burst from the blocks for a scintillating finale, relishing laser sharp exchanges with the orchestra, before a breathtaking sprint to the finishing line."

Gavin Engelbrecht, The Northern Echo; November 27, 2018



Recital with Tom Poster, piano

St. Magnus Festival; Orkney, Scotland


"Stromness Town Hall was the setting for a blistering recital from violinist Elena Urioste and pianist Tom Poster. [...] Urioste and Poster played with unshakable commitment and an intense identification with their music’s sometimes indulgent emotions, and there was a natural, unforced sense of ensemble between them."

David Kettle, theartsdesk.com; June 30, 2018


Laureates of the Sphinx Competition Showcase

Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall; New York City

"Violinist Elena Urioste and Mr. Poster followed with two works: Olivier Messiaen’s Theme and Variations (1932) and Amy Beach’s Romance, Op. 23. The Messiaen was mesmerizing; Ms. Urioste’s extreme upper register was crystalline, and, combined with Mr. Poster’s attentiveness to balance, the performance was everything one would hope for. The building in intensity of each successive variation was thrilling. The Beach Romance was lush as one might expect, but also a virtuosic showpiece that showed that Ms. Urioste “has the goods” and can wow an audience.


This was one of the best performances of [Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor] I have heard. It was the highlight for this listener, and the audience seemed to second that notion, judging by the extended standing ovation awarded to the players."

Jeffrey Williams, New York Concert Review; May 7, 2018



Delaware Symphony Orchestra
David Amado, conductor
Beethoven Violin Concerto, Op. 61

“Urioste is a triple threat, with copious amounts of beauty, brains and talent. She was genuinely thrilled to be playing again with the DSO and it showed. Clad in a floor-length black gown, she took an expansive view of this long and repetitive work that is considered one of the most difficult in the genre.


Right from the opening tutti, which Urioste played along with the orchestra, her performance was joyful and congenial. She was profound without being pretentious in the first movement; lyrical without sentimentality in the larghetto; and playful without being frivolous in the final rondo. Her intonation was spot-on, letting the extremely high notes ring with an impressive resonance. Her impeccable technique allowed her to toss off the bravura passages with crispness and clarity, the softer passages with sublime sensitivity.

The audience showed its appreciation immediately after the first movement, when it broke concert protocol to applaud amidst gasps of “Wow!” Those lucky enough to have gotten tickets for this performance summoned Urioste back with three curtain calls, hoping that they wouldn’t have to wait another eight years for her return.”

Christine Facciolo, Delaware Arts Info; February 19, 2018

Recital with Michael Brown, piano
The Kennedy Center; Washington, D.C.

“Violinist Elena Urioste and pianist Michael Brown appeared as part of the Fortas Series on Wednesday night in the Family Theater, one of the Kennedy Center’s more congenial spaces for chamber music. Both are polished, immensely self-assured prizewinners who come from prestigious musical backgrounds, Urioste from Curtis and Brown from Juilliard. Their thoughtfully conceived program ran the gamut from Mozart and Manuel de Falla in the first half to Olivier Messiaen and Brahms in the second.

Urioste produces her full-bodied, slightly grainy, always pleasing sound with a physical ease that reflects her long-standing interest in yoga. She is capable of the most exquisitely hushed soft playing, the kind that grabs the heart and holds on to it. Brown, who is also a composer, is an intelligent and musical pianist. [...]

Mozart’s mature Sonata in A, K. 526, was alternately spirited and soulful, if a little short on stylistic discernment. The “Suite Populaire Espagñole,” transcribed from a series of Falla’s songs, overflowed with piquant Iberian flavors. In two of the pieces, “Asturiana” and “Nana,” Urioste’s touching pianissimo was breathtaking, though she was nearly swamped by Brown’s exuberance in “Polo.”

Urioste and Brown together made a strong case for Messiaen’s early “Theme and Variations,” followed without pause by Brahms’s luxuriously languid G major Sonata, in which both artists played their hearts out at the conclusion of a satisfying evening.”

Patrick Rucker, The Washington Post; April 27, 2017

Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra
Elizabeth Schulze, conductor
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Op. 64

“A superb performance of the popular Mendelssohn Violin Concerto featured spectacular playing and deeply satisfying interpretation by guest artist Elena Urioste.”

Charles Spining, Arizona Daily Sun; April 23, 2017

The Cleveland Orchestra
Roderick Cox, conductor
Saint-Saens “Havanaise”, Op. 83

“The clear audience favorite was violinist and former Sphinx Competition winner Elena Urioste, guest violinist in Saint-Saens’ “Havanaise” for violin and orchestra. [...] The crowd went wild [...] after experiencing Urioste’s dashing, virtuoso performance.”

Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer; January 31, 2017

Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Rossen Milanov, conductor
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Op. 35

“Guest violinist Elena Urioste played with precision and passion.

Throughout, Milanov [...] gave all appearances of knowing every note by heart, but the conductor seemed to especially delight in the flair brought by Urioste.”

Peter Tonguette, The Columbus Dispatch; January 7, 2017

Eugene Symphony
Dina Gilbert, conductor
Korngold Violin Concerto, Op. 35

“Following the overture, American violinist Elena Urioste joined forces with Gilbert and the orchestra in delivering a spellbinding performance of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s violin concerto. [...]

Though relatively short — 25 minutes — the concerto proved an ideal vehicle for Urioste’s formidable virtuosity and expressiveness. The sighing lyricism that pervades much of the work (only the finale has a fast tempo) effectively showcased the warmth and richness of the violinist’s tone. Much of the solo writing lies well above the staff, and it is the angelic quality of Urioste’s upper-register sound that lingers in my memory.

The finale, marked ‘Allegro assai vivace,’ calls for an abundance of technical facility, and the violinist dispatched the solo lines with dash and élan.”


Terry McQuilkin, The Register-Guard; December 11, 2016

Hallé Orchestra
Jamie Phillips, conductor
Sibelius Violin Concerto, Op. 47

“Elena Urioste’s delivery of the Sibelius concerto was glittering from start to finish. From the shimmering opening of the first movement to the heavy technical demands of the last movement, her tone was beautiful throughout and her purity of intonation was incredible.

Particularly impressive was the second movement in which her build up was timed perfectly and was well matched by the orchestra, both providing a wonderful crescendo into the climax of the movement.

Elena flew through the finale with ease, playing at a brisk pace and maintaining amazing clarity throughout the torturous technical passages.”


Elaine Annable, The Yorkshire Times; May 6, 2016

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Jacomo Rafael Bairos, conductor
Barber Violin Concerto, Op. 14

“In the Barber, [the Knoxville Symphony's] work was more than matched by a breathtaking performance by violinist Elena Urioste, who played it as through it were coming from her own soul. Her playing of the “Andante,” second movement of the concerto was beyond masterful and exquisitely beautiful.”

Harold Duckett, Knoxville News Sentinel; March 18, 2016

“Like its Romantic predecessors, the Barber [Violin Concerto] has both sweetness and heat, in the form of achingly beautiful lyricism in the first two movements and blazing tempo and density in the finale.

Perfectly poised to take on these qualities was violinist Elena Urioste, whose poetic mastery of the concerto’s personality switch was a joy to behold. Her vocal-like legato phrasing of the Allegro movement’s theme and the equally expressive but more sedate Andante second movement pulled the listener closer and closer. Part of that intimate embrace in the Andante flows from an enchanting melody given first to the oboe, in this case rapturously played by KSO principal Claire Chenette.

If one had not been won over by Urioste in the first two movements, the final up-tempo Presto in moto perpetuo did the trick. Urioste turned corners of tonality practically on two wheels, all the while vividly conscious of tone colors and textures, punctuating them with staccato angles, and driving with an unrelenting urgency. However, this was no blur of musical images whizzing by under Bairos’ control, but one of clarity and focus, albeit with vibrant energy.”

Alan Sherrod, Knoxville Mercury; March 22, 2016

Tucson Symphony Orchestra
David Alan Miller, conductor
Sibelius Violin Concerto, Op. 47

“Urioste’s technical prowess was matched by her instinctive sense of expressive phrasing. She made the devilishly difficult passages look simple as she danced at a breakneck pace along the fingerboard, scaling it end to end. Her fingers seemed at times to leap frog one over the other. She was going so fast at times that you didn’t dare blink for fear of missing out on a mystical moment of music-making.”

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star; November 14, 2015

Alabama Symphony Orchestra
Carlos Izcaray, conductor
Korngold Violin Concerto, Op. 35

“Retreating a half century, Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto is one of the most luscious collections of melodies in the concerto literature. The soloist was Elena Urioste, a 29-year-old phenom who proved why her star is on the rise. She possesses a warm, bright tone that balanced impeccably with the orchestra, frequently soaring above Korngold’s thick orchestration.

[...] as the buoyant, highly charged finale unfolded [...] Urioste revealed her brilliant technical abilities along with her consistently sweet sound.”

Michael Huebner, ArtsBHAM; September 19, 2015

San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
Donato Cabrera, conductor
Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

“The concerto on the program was Max Bruch’s Opus 26 (first) violin concerto in G minor with Elena Urioste as soloist. Sadly, she will not be joining SFSYO on the tour, during which Sergey Khachatryan and Renaud Capuçon will perform as soloist at different venues. I say ‘sadly’ because I have not previously listened to a violinist as expressive as Urioste when it came to the use of soft dynamics. This was apparent from her very first measures, which is one of the trickiest opening gestures in the violin repertoire. She knew exactly where she wanted her stress points to be and how to withdraw from them to a level that was practically a whisper. This is one of those “warhorse” concertos that all violinists must master; but Urioste personalized her approach to deliver an interpretation like no other. Cabrera clearly grasped this and knew exactly how to provide the appropriate levels of instrumental support and how to use Bruch’s choices of instrumentation to highlight Urioste’s solo sonorities.”

Stephen Smoliar, The San Francisco Examiner; June 20, 2015

New York Youth Symphony
Joshua Gersen, conductor
Beethoven Violin Concerto, Op. 61

“The soloist, Elena Urioste, played with an enchanting, sweet tone and shapely phrasing. There was an unaffected purity and naturalness to the trills that are sprinkled all over the solo part.”

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times; March 9, 2015

Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, conductor
Elgar Violin Concerto, Op. 61

“How can it be? The Vermont Symphony Orchestra just keeps on getting better. December’s truly exciting performance [...] at Burlington’s Flynn Center was pretty difficult to top, but Sunday afternoon’s concert at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland did just that. (The same program had been presented at the Flynn on Saturday.)

A big part of it was Elena Urioste’s beautiful and exciting performance of Elgar’s Violin Concerto in B minor, Opus 61. The 20-something virtuoso and Marlboro Music Festival alumna played with a maturity and a depth that belied her age. The Elgar concerto is a big, sprawling late-Romantic work that plays like a soap opera. Urioste, with a warm and personal sound she used expressively, managed the full range of emotions from fiery virtuosity to intimate tenderness, with flair and depth. It was not only exciting, her playing in the slow movement brought many to tears.

Urioste had the good fortune to be accompanied by a conductor who had performed the work himself. VSO Music Director Jaime Laredo, also a renowned violin soloist, led the orchestra in a beautifully articulated and rich-sounding as well as responsive performance. It is a testament to Urioste, Laredo and the VSO that their performance combined the intimacy of chamber music with the fiery passion of a virtuoso concerto. Forty-five minutes never seemed so short.”

Jim Lowe, Times Argus; January 26, 2015

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
André de Ridder, conductor
Korngold Violin Concerto, Op. 35

“Elena Urioste [...] was gently bruising in the lovely second movement, rhapsodic and delicate by turns as required. Her veiled delivery of the final phrases came straight from another world of mystery. The set of upbeat variations which constitute the finale was properly sparkling, although it was here that the Hollywood origins of the thematic material (from The Prince and the Pauper) was most apparent. Urioste seems to be making something of a speciality of American violin concertos – she gave us a superb reading of Barber’s concerto here last year – and one looks forward to her further excursions into this repertory.”

Paul Corfield Godfrey, Seen and Heard International; November 19, 2015

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Cristian Macelaru, conductor
Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

“Urioste’s finely spun violin tone, with its quick vibrato and poignant quiet gave [Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1] an unexpected sense of vulnerability…”

Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune; November 8, 2014

Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra
Larry Rachleff, conductor
Barber Violin Concerto, Op. 14

“Violinist Elena Urioste never failed to produce magical sonorities in partnership with an impressive orchestral texture.”

Richard Storm, Sarasota Herald-Tribune; June 15, 2014

“The same magic happened in Barber’s gorgeous violin concerto. Elena Urioste, who was, herself, a student at the Sarasota Music Festival just a few years ago and has since gone on to solo with major orchestras from the New York Philharmonic to the Chicago Symphony, was the dazzling but sensitive soloist. She produced a singing line from her instrument, from the achingly beautiful opening theme to the never-ending perpetual motion of the finale. In between, the words to James Agee’s exquisite poem, “Sure on This Shining Night,” set by Barber in a most famous song, echoed through Urioste’s playing. Barber borrowed from his own song (“Sure on This Shining Night” is from his Opus 13 and the violin concerto is Opus 14). The middle movement has fragments of the poem sifting through the notes: “Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder, wandr’ing far alone, of shadows on the stars.” It’s all there, and with Urioste, the orchestra and Rachleff singing the concerto, it was truly shining.”

June LeBell, YourObserver.com; June 15, 2014

Recital with Michael Brown, piano
Wigmore Hall; London, UK

“Elena Urioste and Michael Brown began this BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert at Wigmore Hall with a work that had a surprisingly long gestation period, Janáček’s Violin Sonata, which occupied him from 1914 to 1921. It’s a typically restless utterance, the music flitting around but never breaking free of the stranglehold of A flat minor, one of the composer’s most meaningful tonal centres. Where it does exhibit more freedom is in the second movement ‘Ballada’, an earlier work for violin and piano Janáček incorporated into this compact design. Urioste exhibited an attractive, lyrical tone, her higher register commendably secure in the chorale theme. [...] Brown’s ornamentation was very clear in the stormy textures, though, and the performance was a convincing one. Amy Beach’s Romance offered a nice complement to such excesses, in a graceful account that was notable for Urioste’s singing tone. The piece, based on the song ‘Sweetheart, sigh no more’, was a reminder that we do not hear Beach’s music often enough – it is tuneful and skilfully written.

Richard Strauss’s only published Violin Sonata is a relatively common repertoire piece these days, and it demands as much from its piano part as it does from the athletic violin writing. This was one of the more refined performances of the work I have heard, for Brown was very careful not to overplay his role, bringing clarity to even the most congested, quasi-orchestral passages that Strauss writes for the piano. Urioste’s [...] confidence in the soaring trajectory of Strauss’s slower themes was impressive, leading to some lovingly delivered phrases. The improvisatory second movement held the emotional heart of this performance, romantic but not too sentimental. [...] The players nonetheless delivered a focussed and musically intelligent reading. As an encore Urioste and Brown offered Jascha Heifetz’s arrangement of the Gershwins’ ‘It ain’t necessarily so’, a good choice and a stylish performance. Fun, too!”

Ben Hogwood, The Classical Source; December 6, 2013

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Garry Walker, conductor
Barber Violin Concerto, Op. 14

“For most, the names of Copland, Bernstein, Gershwin and perhaps latterly Glass are the American composers that figure in the general consciousness, so the BBC National Orchestra of Wales‘s series, Americana, exploring the wide, open space that is 20th-century American classical music is welcome.  In this first concert, Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto was the only work that appears regularly in the repertoire and, in the hands of soloist Elena Urioste, it got a performance that was both thoughtful and, in the finale, virtuosic. Urioste is currently a Radio 3 new generation artist, an American whose name betrays her Mexican-Basque roots, thus epitomizing the very diversity of cultural references being explored in the series. Her fine tone and focused musicianship made their own mark.”

Rian Evans, The Guardian; September 25, 2013

“Elena Urioste delivered the opening of the Barber Violin Concerto at a real Allegro which at first seemed disconcertingly quick, but the music works better when not treated with too much rhapsodic freedom and there was plenty of light and shade in the playing. This made the slower middle section even more effective, when the opening melody blossomed out on the full strings; and the romantic effusion was all the better for not having been anticipated earlier. David Cowley played the oboe solo at the beginning of the second movement with exquisite phrasing in one of Barber’s most sheerly beautiful melodies; Urioste responded with playing of superbly controlled resonance. At the end of the movement the range of dynamics in the resonant acoustic of the Hoddinott Hall was huge…After that the finale was never going to seem more than lightweight; but the whirling perpetuum mobile still packed plenty of punch. This was a performance which looked at the well-known score with fresh eyes, and Urioste played the music as to the manner born.”

Paul Corfield Godfrey, Seen and Heard International; September 25, 2013

National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso

“Virtuoso Elena Urioste brought the house down with her fiery playing of Camille Saint-Saëns’ ‘Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor’ for violin and orchestra. Eschenbach was with the inimitable violin soloist at every beat, yielding sensitively to the expressiveness of her playing.”


Patrick D. McCoy, Washington Life Magazine; Feb. 14, 2013

Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra
Maximiano Valdés, conductor
Britten Violin Concerto, Op. 15

“The excellent performance of Urioste was poetry that emphasized the lyricism of the concerto and that reminded us of the importance of the voice in the music of Britten… In the Vivace, Urioste was restrained virtuosity, serving every musical ideal. A magnificent performance.”


Luis Hernandez Mergal, El Nuevo Dia; Nov. 12, 2012

Sphinx Virtuosi
Astor Piazzolla, “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”

“It was the ‘Four Seasons of Buenos Aires’ by the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla that really stole the show. Or rather, it was violin soloist Elena Urioste who stole it. A drop-dead beauty who plays with equal parts passion, sensuality, brains and humor, Urioste tossed off the work’s captivating tangos and sly quotes of Vivaldi almost flirtatiously, as the Sphinx players provided precise and electrical accompaniment. It was an exciting and virtually flawless performance that brought the audience to its feet.”

Stephen Brookes, Washington Post; Oct. 11, 2012

Marlboro Music Festival
Beethoven Quartet in D Major, Op. 18 No. 3

“Tucked away in a small Vermont college town, Marlboro Music is doing what it has done for most of its 62 seasons: giving a handful of very talented musicians the chance to immerse themselves in a selection of pieces old and new. Only a few of the many works rehearsed each week are played in concert, so in most cases there is time to work and rework them, without the pressure of public performance.

The music presented in concert is often of a very high order, and that was the case during the festival’s fourth weekend of concerts. The two standout performances were of Beethoven quartets. While the festival is often thought of as fixated on the Austro-German tradition, it was significant that the Beethoven works were all receiving their first Marlboro performances.

On Saturday it was Beetho­ven’s Quartet in D major (Op. 18, No. 3). Many groups succumb to the tendency to overplay Beethoven’s young works, to show that the complex genius of his later music is foreshadowed early on. But here, the four performers — violinists Elena Urioste and Joseph Lin, violist Vicki Powell, cellist Angela Park — put a premium on lightness, transparency, and a sense of proportion that made it feel like the youthful work it is. There was also a flexible approach to rhythm and perfectly calibrated dynamics. It was a deft and sophisticated re-imagining of well-worn repertoire.”


David Weininger, Boston Globe; August 7, 2012

Richmond Symphony Orchestra
Steven Smith, conductor
Brahms Violin Concerto

“The young soloist Urioste brought drama in spades to Brahms’ Concerto in D Major for violin and orchestra — a brilliant yet curiously conversational concerto in which the orchestra and violin embroider upon Brahms’ lush melodies in turn… Urioste’s sense of wonder, as if the drama of the piece were unfolding before her, carried the day.”

Anne Timberlake, Richmond Times-Dispatch; Sep. 20, 2011

Chicago Sinfonietta
Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Gwyneth Walker “An American Concerto”

“The orchestra seemed to reach a point of full engagement with the fantastically charming An American Concerto by Gwyneth Walker presented with violin soloist Elena Urioste. Incorporating folk, jazz, and swing elements, the concerto requires a balance between showmanship and restraint in order to avoid becoming a caricature of its stylistic components. The ensemble delivered beautifully, and Ms. Urioste imbued her performance with a sleek flare, a sense of humor, and gorgeous lyric warmth throughout.”

Kathryn J. Allwine Bacasmot, Chicago Classical Music; May 27, 2011

“Walker’s ‘An American Concerto’ (1995) employed rock, folk and jazz idioms as guest violinist Elena Urioste soloed with great style in the three-movement whirlwind.”

Bryant Manning, Chicago Sun Times; May 25, 2011

“This amiable, neatly crafted fusion of rock rhythms, folk melody and jazz riffs went down easily, thanks to the sleek virtuosity of the terrific young violin soloist, Elena Urioste.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune; May 24, 2011

“Violinist Elena Urioste, who made a memorable debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last year, was the soloist in Gwyneth Walker’s ‘An American Concerto’ (1995)… Urioste delivered a stylish and tasteful performance.”

Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review; May 24, 2011

Recital with Michael Brown, piano
Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Center, New York City

“Elena Urioste’s stunning performances as a violin soloist in the annual Carnegie Hall concerts by the Sphinx Organization — an educational foundation that offers classical music training to minority students — have been highlights of those programs in recent seasons. A winner of Sphinx’s competitions in 2003 and 2007, Ms. Urioste studied at the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, and is building an impressive mature career.

She proved an eloquent recitalist on Tuesday afternoon, when she played an inventive program with Michael Brown, a pianist, at Merkin Concert Hall.

Ms. Urioste’s spirited, playful account of Mozart’s Rondo in C (K. 373) quickly established some of the attractions of her sound and her interpretive personality. Chief among them are a thoughtful approach to dynamics and the kind of clearly defined articulation that emphasizes a score’s essential energy.

Very different qualities illuminated her ruminative, abidingly lyrical account of Fauré’s Sonata No. 1 (Op. 13). And Ms. Urioste’s driven reading of the darker Janacek Sonata tapped the work’s intensity and emotional turbulence, particularly in its powerful Adagio. She found other qualities in the piece as well: her shapely, nuanced account of the Ballada drew on some of the tonal opulence that made her Carnegie Hall appearances so appealing.

Ms. Urioste closed her program with Amy Beach’s sweetly singing Romance, and Hubay’s “Carmen Fantasy Brilliante,” a dazzler that begins by focusing on the drama of that Bizet opera, but quickly morphs into violinistic athleticism. Ms. Urioste, fully up to its challenges, was at her best in the speedy passagework that Hubay wove around the “Toreador Song,” presented straightforwardly in the piano part.”


Allan Kozinn, New York Times; April 8, 2011

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Dirk Brossé, conductor
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto

“Watching an emerging soloist burn up the stage in the most standard of repertoire is more than just a momentary thrill — it’s something that reminds you how renewable classical music should always be. And what took Elena Urioste’s performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto a step beyond that Sunday with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia was the kind of collaboration you can’t count on with busier musicians on a subscription treadmill.”

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer; Feb. 15, 2011

“As Urioste noted in her remarks, soloists must find the right balance between romantic emotion and classical form when they play the Mendelssohn concerto; they must be ‘passionate but elegant.’ Urioste produced an exceptionally intense, high-voltage first movement without violating her ideals and followed it with a slow movement that added dark weightiness to the sweetness and poetry of Mendelssohn’s score. Conductor Dirk Brossé and the orchestra gave her the kind of support that surrounds the soloist with a meaningful context and makes you aware of significant details, like the cheery little comments from the woodwinds in the finale.”

Tom Purdom, Broad Street Review; Feb. 15, 2011

San Antonio Symphony Orchestra
Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor
Glazunov Violin Concerto

“Violin star Elena Urioste appeared for a lovingly rendered take on Alexander Glazunov’s little known but charming Violin Concerto… Urioste, with a ripe tone and wonderful technique, poured out all of the open emotion in the single-movement concerto.

Urioste and Prieto recently paired with each other, with another orchestra, for the Glazunov concerto. Their timing and coordination was excellent.”


David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News; Nov. 13, 2010

Sphinx Organization Gala Concert
Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York City

“Elena Urioste and Melissa White, two superb violinists whose performances were also highlights of last year’s concert, returned to collaborate on a sizzling, acidic account of Prokofiev’s Sonata for Two Solo Violins (Op. 56).”

Allan Kozinn, New York Times; Oct. 6, 2010

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
Vaughan Williams “The Lark Ascending”

“The gifted young violinist, Elena Urioste, in her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut, charmed the audience with her lyrical sensitivity. For this performance she traded her Gagliano fiddle for the famed, $18 million, 1741 ‘Vieuxtemps’ Guarneri del Gesu violin, on loan from Chicago’s Stradivari Society. The sweet yet refined sound she drew from it was every violinist’s dream come true.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune; April 3, 2010

“Remarkably, [Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending] is receiving its first-ever Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances this week… If we had to wait this long, however, then it might as well have been to hear Elena Urioste, just 23, in her CSO debut… A totally poised performer, Urioste also understands what it takes to play a piece marked by such humility. If anyone has played solo pianissimos at Orchestra Hall with the hypnotic delicacy that Urioste offered, I must have been away. She already has a challenging and highly varied repertoire. Let’s hear her again soon.”


Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times; April 2, 2010


“Most violinists would likely prefer to make their Chicago Symphony debut with a splashy concerto but in its intimate fashion, Elena Urioste’s performance of Vaughan Williams’ gentle tone poem was as compelling as any Romantic barnburner. From the hushed rustle of her opening bars, the 23-year old violinist played with inward delicacy and expressive poise, her communicative performance aided by the sweet, penetrating sound of the $18 million ‘Vieuxtemps’ Guarneri, on loan from the Stradivari Society for these concerts. In the closing cadenza, Urioste’s barely audible fade into the distance could not have been more sensitively rendered, the young soloist winnowing her tone to a barely audible filigree.”


Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review; April 2, 2010

Buffalo Philharmonic
Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Glazunov Violin Concerto

“Two guest artists are at Keinhans Music Hall this weekend, glamorous young violinist Elena Urioste and guest conductor Christopher Wilkins. Both are bright, engaging and passionate… Urioste is a young artist with poise and a disarmingly direct manner… She poured her heart into the lovely Glazunov. Her tone was rich, warm and confiding. The beautiful themes soared.”

Mary Kunz Goldman, Buffalo News; March 28, 2010

Richmond Symphony Orchestra
Erin Freeman, conductor
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

“The first movement is so large and demanding, and Urioste played so magnificently, that the audience burst into lengthy applause at its end. This didn’t prevent her from immersing herself in the music of the second movement, which she played like a mother’s evening song… Even at top speed, each of Urioste’s notes [in the third movement] was crisp and clear. With what must surely be a waxing musicality and strength, Urioste is poised for a successful career.”

Angela Lehman-Rios, Richmond Times Dispatch; March 22, 2010

Sphinx Organization Gala Concert
Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York City

“…violinist Elena Urioste […] offered a passionate, virtuosic rendition of the ‘Ballade,’ Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 for solo violin.”


Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times; Oct. 22, 2008

Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
Chelsea Tipton II, conductor
Waxman “Carmen Fantasy”

“‘Carmen Fantasy’…was played with virtuoso flair by violinist Elena Urioste.”

Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer; Jan. 21, 2008

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Robert Spano, conductor
Waxman “Carmen Fantasy”

“[Elena] was sultry-sweet razzle-dazzle in Franz Waxman’s ‘Carmen Fantasy.'”

Pierre Ruhe, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; July 30, 2007

National Symphony Orchestra
Damon Gupton, conductor
Barber Violin Concerto

“Elena Urioste […] played with the seamless, creamy tone and phrasing that made me long for the quiet and controlled acoustics of a great concert hall. She appeared at ease and assured beyond her experience and thoughtful beyond her years. Her collaboration with Gupton seemed both comfortable and full of energy. It would be good to hear more from her.”

Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post; July 16, 2007

Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
James Gaffigan, conductor
Chausson Poème for Violin and Orchestra

“Urioste made her Cleveland Orchestra debut Tuesday at Severance Hall […] Her debut piece was Chausson’s Poème, Op. 25, and she played it beautifully […] Poised and sleek in an elegant gown, she drew warm tone from her historic instrument […] Urioste commanded the attention of the large audience in slow, unaccompanied passages […] the lyrical music sounded lovely.”

Wilma Salisbury, The Plain Dealer; Feb. 25, 2004