In the News

Check out some of the reviews of SSO and SPO:

“The [Stanford Philharmonia Orchestra] drilled through Haydn’s lean and hungry scoring with compelling flow. The slow movement… had a vivid dynamic push.”

- San Francisco Classical Voice, February 19, 2015 [link to full review]

“SSO brought impressive clarity in articulation and entrances, with Cai coaxing an exquisite balance between instrumental sections and contrasting melodic lines. From the persistent, ominous pulse of ‘Mars, Bringer of War‘ to the lumbering, ponderous chords of ‘Saturn, Bringer of Old Age,‘ the orchestra performed as a cohesive unit, pulling back and moving forward together through majestic, soaring phrases and staccato scales.

The ensemble’s brilliant technique was particularly evident in the opening of ‘Mercury, the Winged Messenger,’ in which the players bolted rapidly through lively scales, remarkably clear and splendidly playful in this capricious movement.”

Stanford Daily, February 4, 2015 [link to full review]

“These are students pursuing two paths in their lives, with their musical skills on such a high level they would be welcome in any professional orchestra anywhere… the young orchestra players performed with admirable skill, both as ensemble musicians and as skilled principals and soloists – flutist Darien French-Owen, clarinetist Jeff Wolfeld, oboist Steven Robles and several others played some fine solos.”

Peninsula Reviews, May 13, 2013 [link to full review]

“Cai’s control here was impressive — guiding his players through the many tricky entrances, holding back the tempos to fill a well of passion. As the horns sustained their final notes in this slow movement, the timpanist put his ear to his drumheads, quietly re-tuning them for what was to come: Nakamatsu’s breakout into the finale, with its dancing rhythms. This was something to witness.”“Conductor and orchestra tapped into Beethoven’s drama and forward thrust, driving through those final triumphant chords, and the audience jumped to its feet to cheer this first ‘Beethoven Project’ event.”

- San Jose Mercury News , January 19, 2013 [link to full review]

“Its highlight was a stunning performance of Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloe” Suite No. 2 by the Stanford Symphony Orchestra under former Cincinnatian Jindong Cai The orchestral sound was a blend of richness and also clarity. Every pizzicato of a string, every flourish of a flute or harp, popped out of the texture clearly. With the addition of Ravel’s wordless chorus, the effect was luxuriant.”

“Another ensemble, the Philharmonia Orchestra (founded by Cai) delivered a sublime performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘Serenade to Music’ with the Choral Union. It was clear that every nuance was possible in this space.” (Cincinnati Enquirer), January 18, 2013 [link to full review]