"...Pianist willing to take risks"

Birmingham Post

 

"...an extraordinarily empowered reading of John Ireland‘s Scarlet Ceremonies. She flew at this tremolo-demented piece like an elemental. I doubt the piece has ever been treated with such possessed virtuosity"

Birmingham Post

 

"...Her account of John Ireland’s large-scale and very difficult Piano Sonata was simply astonishingly good..her control of the many myriad changes of richly imaginative mood – from moments of rapt ecstasy in the slow movement, to those of commanding power in the first and last – was completely compelling"

Classical Source by Robert Matthew Walker

 

"...Displaying a flawless technique, she delivered a glittering performance that also had something of a pioneering spirit as it introduced this rarely performed, but stellar example of 20th century piano repertoire."

Arthur Bliss Society

 

"...we see emerging a very clear, personal conception of profound emotional intensity..."

Csiky Boldiszar, composer

 

"Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and pianist Rebeca Omordia played with thrilling technique and artistry..."

The News, Portsmouth

 

 


Piano recital at birmingham and midland institute, 14 october 2016

 

"...the audience for Rebeca Omordia's remarkable lunchtime recital last Friday heard something very special from this Romanian/Nigerian pianist who is destined to go very far indeed.

An alumna of Birmingham Conservatoire, Omordia's musicianship is many-sided: her technique is brilliant and assured, her musical intelligence and sensitivity inform every note she plays, and she has huge intellectual and physical stamina.

Ravel's formidable Gaspard de la Nuit usually crowns the ending of a recital. Here Omordia began with it, bringing to Ondine a controlled fluidity and delicious intensifying and subsiding of power, to Le Gibet an hypnotic sense of monotone desolation, and to Scarbo pouncing articulation as she made light of its devilishly virtuosic demands.

From perhaps Lisztian pyrotechnic glitter Omordia moved to the highly personal language of the John Ireland Sonata, attuned as much to its thinly-veiled romanticism as to the modernistic spikiness which tries to conceal it. She displayed a remarkable awareness of its structures and shifting tonalities, and in the central movement delivered its soulfully singing melodic line with huge understanding, underlying chords warmly balanced.

Rebeca Omordia is a generous ambassador for Nigeria's music, and she concluded with five movements from Fred Onovwerosuoke's 24 Studies in African Rhythms. These were rhythmically exhilarating, and surprisingly western-influenced, melodies and textures sometimes evoking Chopin, and the energetic Raging River Dance 2 sounding as though it could certainly have been composed by Bartok.

Ear-refreshing, concise and intriguing, these miniature gems were joyously laid before us by this dedicated and committed young advocate.

Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post , 20 October 2016


John Ireland's 'Legend' with Ealing Symphony Orchestra
conducted by John Gibbons , 18 July 2015

 "...Through Lloyd Webber Omordia will have become exposed to John Ireland’s music and she has become a notable champion of his piano works. Her performance of the solo part in the Legend was technically brilliant, tonally beautiful, and highly sensitive to the music’s potent atmosphere..."

Alan Sanders, Seen and Heard International Reviews, 21 July 2015


British Piano Festival Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, 16 June 2015

"The first part of the concert concluded with the playing of Rebeka Omordia – an alumnus of the Conservatoire who played without a score. The light-as-down Macdowell-style Three Spring Miniatures by William Lloyd Webber were followed, with hardly a breath for applause, by an extraordinarily empowered reading of John Ireland‘s Scarlet Ceremonies. She flew at this tremolo-demented piece like an elemental. I doubt the piece has ever been treated with such possessed virtuosity – it sounded like war-time Prokofiev at times. I hope that Omordia records an Ireland selection including the Sonata, Ballade, Decorations and the Channel Isles-inspired pieces. With the Howells Clarinet Sonata (Luke English) from Monday night this was one of the highlights of the Festival. We need to hear more from Ms Omordia. Record companies pay heed. "

Rob Barnett, Seen and Heard International, 21 June 2015

"...Rebeca Omordia was a star turn with a stunning performance of John Ireland’s The Scarlet Ceremonies, devilishly difficult but despatched with aplomb. Omordia has often partnered cellist Julian Lloyd Webber so it was fitting she should play his father William’s Three Spring Miniatures..."

Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post, 17 June 2015


Lunchtime recital at Cheltenham Town Hall, 17 March 2015

"... At Rebeca's lunchtime recital in Cheltenham Town Hall on Tuesday 17 March, given to a large and appreciate audience, she proved without a doubt that she has not only discovered Sir Arthur Bliss, but has also wholeheartedly embraced his piano music as a top class performer. Listening to his Piano Suite at this recital was not just entertaining, it was an education for everyone present, and many commented enthusiastically afterwards that this was something very special, rarely heard at such an event. Bliss never let his soloists off lightly and the Piano Suite is no exception; a substantial work in four movements, it abounds in technical virtuosity from the start to finish. Rebeca's playing was notable for its calm poise and lack of demonstrative gesture in a work so demanding. Displaying a flawless technique, she delivered a glittering performance that also had something of a pioneering spirit as it introduced this rarely performed, but stellar example of 20th century piano repertoire.

 

...The second work in Rebeca's recital, John Ireland's Piano Sonata (1920) shares the same intensity and is certainly no easier to play than the Bliss. The music critic Ralph Hill considered it the best Sonata ever written by a British composer..In this, the second substantial and demanding work in her recital, Rebeca showed no signs of flagging whatsoever and delivered an authoritative and committed performance with undiminished energy. If that were not enough virtuosity for one lunchtime, Rebeca ended her recital with one of the most difficult pieces in the piano repertoire, giving a dazzling performance of 'Scarbo' from Ravel's Gaspdard de la nuit.

...In Rebeca Omordia we have another first class advocate of his music, and a very fine ambassador for Sir Arthur Bliss.''

Review by John Wright in Sir Arthur Bliss Society's Spring Newsletter , May 2015


Lunchtime recital at St Olave's Church, London, 21 November 2014

"... Rebeca Omordia, of Romanian-Nigerian parentage, showed herself to be a quite remarkably gifted pianist, playing from memory and delivering performances that were outstanding in every regard. The two items from the First Book of Debussy’s Images at once declared Omordia to be a brilliant and sensitive player, the technical difficulties of the pieces holding no terrors for her, and in which her refined and subtle playing were a constant joy, easeful and quite enchanting.

 

Her account of John Ireland’s large-scale and very difficult Piano Sonata was simply astonishingly good (interesting to hear it after the Debussy, where its occasional Impressionistic colourations suited the mood established by the French composer). Hearing this account made one realise that the work is very probably Ireland’s masterpiece – and not only in his piano output. Omordia’s command of the Sonata’s structure was complete, and her control of the many myriad changes of richly imaginative mood – from moments of rapt ecstasy in the slow movement, to those of commanding power in the first and last – was completely compelling.

 

To follow this with Prokofiev’s Third Piano Sonata (the shortest of his nine) was another remarkable achievement, showing much care for detail and just the right amount of strength in a work notable for its barely-concealed energy and deep originality. This equally impressive performance was followed by five short pieces by a (we must assume) African composer that are attractive, rather epigrammatic and made an immediate effect, a compelling mixture of technical challenges, memorable ideas and clever compositional working, none of which outstayed their welcome. Omordia clearly enjoyed imparting their essence to the audience. This was a wonderful recital. I would go a long way to hear this exceptional pianist again."

Review by Robert Matthew Walker in Classical Source, November 2014

www.classicalsource.com


Birmingham Town Hall's memorial concert for Lyndon Jenkins, 25 September 2014

 "...Rebeca Omordia delivered hearteningly idiomatic accounts of John Ireland’s Columbine and Scarlet Ceremonies".

Review by Christopher Morely in Birmingham Post, October 2014

Birmingham Post , October 2014


RECITAL with Julian Lloyd Webber, Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn Garden City October 2013

''...the pair took their willing audience on a journey of emotions; transforming a dark, lifeless stage into characterful array of colour, imagination and art.  The instant connection between the two musicians was reflected in the dynamics of the pieces as they were performed with no less than perfect symmetry. 

 It was a magical atmosphere when everybody was held in a moment of silence, not wanted to even applaud in fear of disrupting the gorgeous moment created.''

 

Review by Jazzalice in www.jazzalice.wordpress.com, October 2013


Rachmaninov Sonata for cello & piano in G minor with Julian Lloyd Webber at Guildhal Portsmouth May 2013

“..Appropriately Julian Lloyd Webber will end his Guildhall recital on Thursday, when he will be partnered by award-winning young pianist Rebeca Omordia, with the ’wonderfully dramatic’ Sonata in C minor by Rachmaninov himself.

‘It’s a huge piece,’ he says. ‘I have played it with Rebeca before and she is really, really good. She’ll take risks, really going for it. It will be spontaneous and that’s what I like. “

“Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and pianist Rebeca Omordia played with thrilling technique and artistry. The programme mingled major works with varied short items including “In The Half Light” by William Lloyd Webber – father to Julian and Andrew. It proved gently evocative, not a million miles from Rachmaninov in mood... The Russian composer’s own Cello Sonata highlighted the point as well as producing the evening’s most emotionally powerful playing, with technical challenges enthusiastically embraced.

 

Review by Mike Allen in The News, Portsmouth, May 2013

 


Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no 1 with Targu Mures Philharmonic Orchestra June 2013

Csiky Boldiszar composer, August 2013

“Listening to Tchaikovsky’ s Piano Concerto no 1 with pianist Rebeca Omordia we see emerging a very clear, personal conception of profound emotional intensity disciplined at all times by respect and fidelity for the score.  The culminations are prepared with exquisite patience, being managed with an unexpected sweep of naturalness, considering her age. It is significant, as she demonstrates her polyphonic knowledge, discovering and bringing to the surface the overlays of the counter point melodies in this technically uncongenial work. "


Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no 1 with Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra 2009

Delight in fledging pianist willing to take risks...

Part of the secret of great pianism is all about taking risks…we heard a fledging pianist doing just that as she enlivened Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no1…Rebeca Omordia addressed the keyboard fearlessly in this technically uncongenial work…exploiting all the instrument’s capabilities as she derived obvious pleasure in her playing, and conveyed it so irresistibly to us.” 

Review by Chris Morley, Birmingham Post , January 2009 

 


O. Messiaen Centenary at Town Hall Birmingham - “Oiseaux exotiques” With birmingham conservatoire symphony orchestra, july 2008

“Oiseaux exotiques with star pianist Rebeca Omordia, brought to life Messiaen’s obsession with birdsong. Her enthusiasm and peerless technique added to eleven wind and seven percussionists to portray another world…bringing to a close a wonderful concert. Bravo!”

Review by Maggie Cotton, Birmingham Post, June 2008