New York Times Review of Matthew Kennedy's New York Debut Recital
While searching through more boxes, I found these two articles. Both are reviews of my father's New York Recital debut in 1958. The first is from The New York Times, the second from the New York Herald Tribune.
The New York Times, March 17, 1958
“PIANIST IN DEBUT HERE (headline)
Matthew Kennedy, Teacher at Fisk, Offers a Recital
Matthew Kennedy, pianist, made his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall yesterday afternoon.
Mr. Kennedy a native of Americus, Ga., received an A.B. degree from Fisk University, where he is a member of the music faculty, and an M.S. in music from the Juilliard School.
Mr. Kennedy impressed listeners by his thoughtful, intelligent approach to keyboard problems and his evident devotion to the works on his program. These included the Bach-Busoni ‘Wachet auf,’ Mendelssohn’s ‘Variations sérieuses,’ a Chopin group, two Debussy Preludes and works of Rachmaninoff, Poulenc and Albeniz.
A highlight of the recital was Mr. Kennedy’s assured performance of the Mendelssohn Variations, done with a velocity that was received by his audience with special enthusiasm.”
NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, MONDAY, MARCH 17, 1958
"Pianist Kennedy Makes N.Y. Debut (headline)
The New York debut of pianist Matthew Kennedy, yesterday at Carnegie Recital Hall, revealed him as a musician of considerable sensitivity and warmth, with a slight tendency to digital inaccuracy, but many compensating virtues. The pianist’s tone is round and sonorous; he produces a lot of it, and yet never pounds.
During the course of his program, which listed music of Bach-Busoni, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and Debussy, among others, he consistently pursued a lyrical course of interpretation, as opposed to a sharply dramatic one. It is possible that a more vigorous sense of drama would have projected such works as Chopin’s F minor Ballade, Op. 38, a bit more strongly. But understatement, convincingly handled, is also a valid approach. And Mr. Kennedy’s playing, even when not completely top level, is expressive of sincerity and conviction.