Judith Lynn Stillman


  • Judith Lynn Stillman, Christmas Reflections (North Star Music):  The booklet of this CD bears the subtitle ‘Enchanting Holiday Chamber Music’, and for once, such a phrase is not false advertising. Stillman is an accomplished award-winning pianist whose admirers include everyone from the Kronos Quartet to Wynton Marsalis. Here’s she’s joined by two members of the Muir String Quartet (violinist Peter Zazofsky and cellist Michael Reynolds) and Boston Symphony flutist Fenwick Smith for a score of holiday tunes, presented with impeccable grace and subtle, appealing inventiveness. The sparse instrumentation of the ‘March’ from ‘The Nutcracker’ showcases the complexity of this familiar piece while still being thoroughly charming. Most of the tunes are familiar (except perhaps, for the haunting ‘El Noi de la Mare’ and Couperin’s ‘Les Barricades Misterieuses’), and throughout there are some inspired pairings of popular melodies, like the melding of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ with Victor Herbert’s ‘Toyland’, which closes the disc on a quiet, gentle note.

    Tulsa World

  • Judith Lynn Stillman, Christmas Reflections (North Star Music):  19-track compilation mixes traditional carols with classical gems, and the result is so splendid it shimmers. If chamber music is what you crave in front of the fire, get this one on the stereo, pronto.

    The Record – Bergen County, NJ

  • Judith Lynn Stillman, Christmas Reflections (North Star Music):
    “Boldly performed chamber versions of classics and carols by pianist Stillman and musicians from the Boston Symphony and Muir String Quartet.”

    The Press Enterprise – Riverside, CA

  • Judith Lynn Stillman, Christmas Reflections (North Star Music):
    Piano stylings by Stillman, accompanied by the Boston Symphony and the Muir String Quartet. Good music to wrap presents by.

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

  • Judith Lynn Stillman, Christmas Reflections (North Star Music):  What jingles: Chamber music guaranteed to light your inner tree.  Beautiful arrangements of holiday standards from a pianist talented enough to enter Juilliard at age 10 (she’s a grown woman and a mommy now). What jangles: Nothing. Sounds splendid even coming from a boombox.  Rating: 5 bells. (out of 5 bells)

    The Arizona Republic

  • Marsalis and Stillman make an impeccable team.  The playing consistently dazzles.

    San Francisco Examiner

  • When pianist Judith Lynn Stillman performed with Juilliard cellist Debbie Pae in New York last Thursday, legendary Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich was in the audience . . . so were opera diva Beverly Sills and veteran newsman Walter Cronkite . . . pretty heady stuff.  It was all part of the Recording Academy’s month long musical salute leading up to Sunday’s Grammy Awards.

    San Diego Union Tribune

  • At the TICO (Tifereth Israel Orchestra’s) Jan. 25 Concert, pianist Judith Lynn Stillman plunged into the opening of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Concerto in G Minor for Piano and Orchestra,” propelling the first theme with unbridled momentum.  The second theme, in contrast, was played with delicately phrased sentiment.  The majestic second movement preceded the mazurka-like finale that sparkled under the digital dexterity of this superb pianist.  Although this concerto has been performed a number of times by artists with the San Diego Symphony, of which the most recent was Jerome Lowenthal  under the direction of Yoav Talmi, no one surpassed Stillman’s performance. The pianist’s infectious sprit was shared by violinist Martin Chalifour when they played Mendelssohn’s “Concerto in D Minor for Violin, Piano and Strings” following the intermission.  This work by the 14 year-old Felix sounded much like Mozart, abounding in virtuoso scale passages, all beautifully executed by the two artists.  Their ensemble was remarkable, and TICO supplied admirable orchestral support for both concertos.  The evening was made most memorable by the two Mendelssohn concertos.

    San Diego Jewish Times

  • Judith Lynn Stillman, Christmas Reflections (North Star Music):  The recurring thrill is the gusto with which the musicians impart new breezes and distinctive airs to songs we’ve heard dozens (if not hundreds) of times. Given the virtuosity present, it’s no shocker that a sense of wonderment, élan and majesty permeates. The Appalachian carol ‘I Wonder As I Wander’ may be the zenith. Judith Lynn Stillman’s style remains a captivating style inseparable from substance. There’s a reason why Stillman was asked to play for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and why Wynton Marsalis asked this longtime pal to join him in the studio for ‘On the Twentieth Century/ (Sony Classical), which shot up the Billboard charts like the elf who scarfed too many Skittles. Try track 16: a Bach Prelude segues into ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’ which aches with, then resolves, then aches with emotion. This is a spirit-lifting record, a keeper for many Christmases.

    Providence Phoenix

  • Judith Lynn Stillman was sensational. Even on a slow news day, there wouldn’t be enough space to cite the wonderful qualities in Stillman’s performance.

    Providence Journal

  • The next George Winston. She possesses a sophisticated harmonic palette that stretches from Chopin to Tori Amos.

    Providence Journal

  • No doubt about it Stillman was indeed brilliant. Her performance absolutely shimmered and sparkled.

    Providence Journal

  • Pianist Judith Lynn Stillman receives equal billing with Wynton Marsalis on the cover and deserves it-her playing is crisp and confident.

    New York Daily News

  • Stillman plays with thoughtful grace and a fine sense of beauty.

    Milwaukee Journal

    The [film’s] music is very beautiful, but not overdone (rest assured, no violin overdose), and it parallels and supports the images perfectly.

    It is sweet, fresh, unhurried, takes its time and provides the backdrop of emotional respite that Eva and Ruda deserve after what they experienced

    LPM Culture/Lifestyle

    ‘Bravo!’ ‘Wow!’ and other cheers were heard frequently in First United Methodist Church. Featured performers were pianists Francisco Renno and Judith Lynn Stillman, who received standing ovations.

    She was joined by members of Lancaster Festival Orchestra for Schubert’s Scherzo from Quintet in A-major, ‘The Trout,’ and Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 for Piano and Orchestra, as arranged by Lachner. Cheers and a standing ovation followed the performance.

    Renno and Stillman shared the piano for the final segment of the concert — selections from Dvorak’s Slavonic Folk Dances. The duo smiled and moved in synch to the energetic music — much to the delight of the audience, which again gave another standing ovation.

    Lancaster Eagle-Gazette

  • For seven years, a trio of Lancaster Festival musicians have been bridging a gap that spans almost 50 years.

    On Tuesday night, they were doing it again for a packed crowd at the First United Methodist Church.

    Violinist Dmitri Pogorelov, cellist John Sant’Ambrogio and pianist Judith Lynn Stillman played selections from Beethoven that ranged from upbeat pieces to melodic lullabies.

    The trio first played together at the 2004 Lancaster Festival. Since then, it has reformed to play together each year and dubbed itself the Generations Trio for the gap between its youngest member, Pogorelov, and its oldest, Sant’Ambrogio.

    ‘They found a chemistry despite the fact that they come from such different generations,’ said Gary Sheldon, the festival’s artistic director.

    The group was formed by Sheldon, but he said that was purely coincidence.

    ‘They really found each other,’ he said.

    Tuesday’s performance of the Generations Trio was accompanied by other musicians as well. Cellist Jonah Kim opened with Stillman in a Hungarian Rhapsody.

    These performances are part of what draws John and Linda Burmeister from Richmond, VA, back to their hometown each summer. The Burmeisters, who left Lancaster about 1970, saw the first performance of the Generations Trio in 2004, and the couple makes a point to see then play each year, John Burmeister said.

    ‘We would never miss a performance of the Generations Trio,’ Linda Burmeister said.

    Lancaster Eagle-Gazette

  • Judith Lynn Stillman, Christmas Reflections (North Star Music):  This release, subtitled Classic Holiday Chamber Music, is simply and absolutely gorgeous!! Internationally acclaimed pianist Judith Lynn Stillman joins with musicians from The Cleveland Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, and other well-known orchestras to create a subtle blend of traditional carols and familiar classical music of the season, elegantly arranged for chamber ensembles. Intimate combinations of piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar, and flute weave together a sound that is sometimes joyful, sometimes pensive, and always compelling. Very highly recommended!

    Laddyslipper.org – Recordings by Women

  • The excellent pianist, Judith Stillman, accompanied the entire program during this tour de force of more than two hours playing for forty solo singers with operatically trained voices, choir and dancers/actors. The entire work was very well put together, with rhythm, spontaneity and warmth. In the midst of this, there were certain individuals of exceptional talent. It was a testimony of a tradition, that of the musical, very popular and present in the American colleges.

    L’Arena, Il Giornale di Verona, Italy

  • Judy Stillman is a high energy and enthusiastic pianist with a very polished technique and wonderful musicianship. She exudes vitality and a joy of performing.

    John Sherba, Kronos Quartet

  • It has been a great blessing for me to play with the remarkable pianist, Judith Lynn Stillman. Though her technique is amazing, it’s her incredible musicality with her broad range of colors, her beautiful touch that always creates in me a sense of awe and her lovely phrasing that makes me realize that I have had the honor of playing with the best pianist I know.

    John Sant’Ambrogio, Saint Louis Symphony,  Principal Cello (retired)

  • A remarkably gifted pianist.

    Jackson Hole News

  • The evening belonged to Stillman. Stillman played brilliantly. What she can do within a phrase, finding small eloquences within the tempo, is amazing.  She plays with a spirit of daring. She is an important find for the Grand Teton Music Festival.

    Jackson Hole Guide

  • Stillman’s enchanting playing left me continuously spellbound.

    Ha’Aretz Newspaper- Israel

  • Her playing shows both technical prowess and a high degree of artistic sensitivity.

    George Crumb, Composer

  • Nothing can disconcert pianist Stillman.

    Cincinnati Enquirer

  • We wish Stillman so merry a Christmas that she will not be able to resist gathering more friends for still more seasonal music-making.

    Christianity Today

  • Kramer’s Three Pairs was aptly ‘paired’ with Erik Satie’s bipolar Pieces in the Form of a Pear for piano four hands. Though Satie rejected traditional thematic development and the Romantic weightiness that it enabled, the simplicity, clarity and jocularity of his music mask a deeper seriousness and complexity. Both aspects were well represented in the performance by James Winn and Judith Lynn Stillman.

    The concert closed with a well-paced and beautifully played account of Antonin Dvorak’s Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 87. The players were Judith Lynn Stillman, Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, Fred Edelen and Dmitri Pogorelov.

    Cactus Pear Music Festival Incident Light

  • On a ballroom stage last month in Providence’s posh Westin Hotel, it happened again. Wearing a flame-red dress, Brown music instructor Judith Lynn Stillman sat at a grand piano and proceeded to inhabit and animate a wildly difficult Débussy piece. White arms flew under the spotlight; scarlet sequins semaphored each flung note. When she finished, just before bursting into applause the audience breathed a collective, stunned wow.

    Brown Alumni Journal

  • Better than the Boston Pops’ “Holiday Pops” is “Christmas Reflections”, by the pianist Judith Lynn Stillman on the independent label North Star.  Stillman’s playing is sprightly and elegant. Accompanied by musicians from the Boston Symphony and the Muir String Quartet, Stillman makes lively instrumental versions of “Away in a Manger”, “The Holly and the Ivy” and other classics. Stillman reaches for the stars and succeeds brilliantly in transporting us through darkness towards life and growth.

    Asbury Park Press

  • Stillman’s ARMENIA 100 and When the Music Stopped: An Extraordinary Tribute. A breathtaking masterpiece, conceived of, and brilliantly executed by pianist, composer and artistic visionary Judith Lynn Stillman.  Stillman’s true genius shines as she catapults the audience into a multi-layered, artistically complex presentation exploring injustice, survival and hope.  She leads the audience on a journey through pain and loss, toward healing, solidarity, and growth.  Stillman’s sensitivity to the history, art and psyche of the Armenian people is apparent throughout.   Her virtuoso piano stands out as a highlight of the evening.  Her power, her emotional intensity and her precision at the keyboard serve as the backdrop for the unfolding of this evocative drama.  Stillman reaches for the stars and succeeds brilliantly in transporting us through darkness towards life and growth.

    Armenian Weekly

  • I am impressed by her technical as well as intellectual discipline, and the individuality of her musical expression.

    André Watts

  • Judy Lynn Stillman performed The Union [Gottschalk] with the ensemble.  Emitting such passion and vigor in her playing, she was mind blowing.  It was refreshing to watch Stillman bouncing on her bench as she jarred, plucked and caressed the keys of her piano.

    Anchor – Arts & Entertainment

  • The wonderful Judith Lynn Stillman plays with conviction and insight.  Brilliant!  A model of clarity.

    American Record Guide

  • Stillman made an excellent showing. She performed Chopin adroitly and with appealing style.

    New York Times