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 © 2019 | Artwork by Daniel Santo

BIO

REVIEWS

 

A superb collaborator.

   The Washington Post

 

[Kennedy's Czardashian Rhapsody] is a violin tornado as great as anything Wieniawski, Ysaye, or Szymanowski could envision. 

   allaboutjazz.com

 

The Czardashian Rhapsody — a clever, rollicking mash-up of Czardas and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 — was worthy of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and I mean that as the highest compliment.

   Ottawa Citizen

Martin Kennedy’s mashup of Czardas and Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody (amusingly titled Czardashian Rhapsody) was a blast. 

   The Boston Musical Intelligencer

 

[Czardashian Rhapsody] fosters sparkling colors and textures, and the themes on which it is built are very present in collective memory.  It’s an effective work that handily drew smiles and cheers from the audience.

   Banco de la República Actividad Cultural (Bogotá, Columbia)

Composer-pianist Martin Kennedy, one of St. John’s frequent collaborators, was a consummate partner, playing with comparable concentration and volatile intensity. . . Kennedy’s own Trivial Pursuits is a well-crafted vignette combining blues and ragtime that seemed tailor-made for St. John’s combustible style. 

   The Miami Herald

 

Written with St. John's capabilities in mind, [Trivial Pursuits] is bluesy, bouncy, virtuosic and offbeat with interesting violin lines supported by a solid and sometimes big piano part. St. John played the dickens out of it. . . Her pianist, Martin Kennedy, provided strong and empathetic support bolstered by a big and sometimes bold tone.

   The Daily Gazette (Troy, NY)

 

Martin Kennedy's Trivial Pursuits was a memorable 'six slices' of music revolving around a major scale ground bass, with some influence of jazz and even Bartok in the harmonies, very nicely performed. . . [B]oth violinist and pianist played with impressive accuracy and at times great delicacy.

   The Times Union [Troy, NY]

 

Cleverly constructed in six sections, [Trivial Pursuits] starts with a walking bass in the piano and winsomely segues through contrasting sections. Drawing from jazz and blues, it uses [Lara] St. John's considerable virtuosity wisely.

   The Birmingham News

 

The jury unanimously awarded first prize to [Trivial Pursuits] by American composer Martin Kennedy. . . Kennedy has composed a brilliant piece with emerging echoes of jazz, set in a solid compositional framework, with the violin engaged in passages of both luminous virtuosity and evocative melodies.

   DgTvOnline

 

Martin Kennedy's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra harkens back to the bold, sophisticated popular classical American music of the 1940s and 1950s. The piece resounded with the atmosphere of America circa 1950 — jazzy, confident, sleek and grinning.

   The Tuscaloosa News

 

[T]he real showstopper here is [Kennedy and St. John's] gloriously unrestrained, deliriously over-the-top adaptation of Liszt's demonic Totentanz, which St. John negotiates with scintillating abandon and chutzpah, supported to the hilt by some deliciously uncoiffered playing from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's brass section.

   The Strad

 

[Liszt's] Totentanz is a violin showstopper with a very muscular orchestral part. It could be a nice addition to a solo violinist's repertoire, and St. John and Kennedy should be commended for fashioning it with intelligence and taste.

   The Palm Beach Post

 

[Four Songs and Souvenir] are sure to become staples of the flute repertoire.

   Flute Talk Magazine

 

Despite its overall economy, the [flute concerto's] first movement, a mystical adagio, grows progressively in size and density, a rewarding strategy of delayed gratification. . . Kennedy's well-constructed, attractive concerto suggests that this young composer has a promising future.

   The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

 

Pianist Martin Kennedy was a consummate partner, dispatching [John] Corigliano’s knuckle-busting keyboard writing with aplomb.

   The Miami Herald

 

Kennedy emerged as a double threat man as he sat at the Steinway to team with flutist [Thomas] Robertello in a performance, and a searing one, of his own composition, Four Songs for Flute and Piano. . . These pieces, which effectively make the flute an equivalent of the vocalist, have been beautifully constructed by someone with a musical mind of his own. . .Throughout, he has given both the pianist and the flutist, the remarkable agile Robertello, various sorts of challenges that, nevertheless, at all times, serve the cause of music rather than mere technical exhibition. Both composition and performance impressed.

   The Bloomington Herald Times