"Miss Grunstein is a versatile, expressive pianist who combines a penetrating musical intelligence with the technical proficiency to realize her ideas. Bach's C minor Partita, BWV 826, was admirable; the opening Sinfonia tempestuous, the more intimate Courante and Sarabande imbued with a luminous calm. Beethoven's Sonata in D was delivered with a directness that only heightened the tragedy that propels the central Largo; the surrounding three movements danced with appropriate grace..."
"At Sarah Grunstein's Bach concerts at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) in February, the opening notes of the Prelude from the Partita in B-flat evoked memories of Dame Myra Hess and Englishman Harold Samuel, i.e., she cared deeply about the music, knew stylistically what to do with it, and (best of all) produced a demure, pearly, singing tone. In fact, she echoed one reviewer's reference to her "lovely liquid tones, each note like a tiny pearl, released gradually." This Australian native with degrees from Juilliard and the City University of New York, who is now Professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, is an artist worth hearing."
"Based on the concept of improvisation, pianist Sarah Grunstein performed a program of 19th century masterworks in the Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House... Introspective and poetic, Sarah Grunstein's performance was profoundly sensitive... Sarah Grunstein really came into her own, playing with a spontaneity and abandon that stemmed from her technical mastery and intimate knowledge of this hybrid... The Utzon Room is surely one of the most hypnotic settings for music performance... Against this backdrop, for just a few hours, Sarah Grunstein mesmerised us with some of the most beautiful piano music ever written."
"Her performance was an epic journey of musical concentration through Bach's landscapes of musical wonder."
"Sarah Grunstein... played Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain, a beautifully impressionistic work. In fact, she produces the most lovely liquid tones from the piano; each note is like a tiny pearl, released gradually from beneath her talented hands. In this marvellous work she gave an impression of heat, dust, and at times a profound silence."
"In a city rich in pianists par excellence, Sarah Grunstein is la crème de la crème. Grunstein's masterful rendition of the Goldberg Variations held her audience in a sparkling web of enchantment... Her eloquence, the crispness of each note, her total command of the range of tempos demanded by the Variations made music as holy as music gets. I was transported beyond my hard seat into a realm of dream. As the hold Glenn Gould maintained over this music has thankfully worn away over the past decade, a plethora of fine musicians has come to the fore; Grunstein is the shining light."
"There are times when she seems to go into a poetic trance... In a large group of Chopin pieces, three Nocturnes fared beautifully and the Berceuse had a limpid clarity and an absence of pressure which led to pure charm. Debussy's Estampes were played with great sensitivity and a fine evocation of atmosphere."
"What made Sarah Grunstein's presentation of Bach's Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 on Friday in Williams Hall of the New England Conservatory so compelling, was that it was given by a pianist who is not only (very) fluent on her chosen instrument, but also conversant with (and sympathetic to) the instruments of Bach's own time and their particular syntax...
"Her performance was remarkable in a number of ways... demonstrating complete mastery of the pieces. She kept the audience not only enraptured, but attentive to her wishes, curbing with her body language its impulse to applaud too quickly and too frequently and thus destroy the sonic spell, another skill all too rarely well-practiced."
"On Wednesday 1 August at 6.30 pm in the Recital Hall West, a select audience... was transported from the Recital Hall to an imaginary Poland of the 19th Century. The vehicle was the music of Chopin and the navigator the beautiful Sarah Grunstein. In honour of her Polish heritage, she presented a sensitively graduated program, ranging from the elegant Prelude in F Sharp Major Op 28 No 13 to the virtuosic Ballade No 1 in G Minor Op 23."
"Grunstein's Grand Recital at Holy Cross. Worcester, MA, 28 March 2008... Grunstein is completely in command of her repertoire and her keyboard; she is able to make the sounds of final notes resonate and endure for amazing lengths of time. She is also in control of her audience in a way that all too few artists are, and which many would do well to emulate. She gathers her listeners up and takes them along, enraptured, on the musical journey as she wends her way through the compositions. Sometimes she leaves us as emotionally drained as she must herself be. She is also able, through her arm positions and body language, to prevent the audience from prematurely erupting in applause, and to prolong thereby the magic of the musical world into which she has taken us. Yet none of this is just for show; there's no flashy display whatsoever, just pure musicianship and musicality. A rare talent, this."
"It is not often I could say that I have experienced something really profound after attending a concert. Observing the audience as they were leaving the Auditorium Lattuada after Sarah's concert I realize that this was not only something felt by me but by the majority of those who were in attendance. The Bach Partita was sheer joy to listen to: executed on the piano with the interpretation and articulation of a harpsichordist - florid ornamentation, intelligent interplay of the improvisatory, dance and imitative styles. As to the Brahms, Chopin and Schumann every detail had been attended to - musically, technically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally."
"The most compelling pianists ask the listener to rethink oft-performed works from the standard keyboard repertoire. Australian Sarah Grunstein, who established her credentials in New York as a Bach interpreter in the 1980s with performances of both books of the Well-Tempered Clavier, did just that on February 9th in another all-Bach recital, the first of three concerts she will give this winter at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall."
"A woman with a penchant for hard work and tremendous musical talent... The Schumann Fantasie produced some of Ms. Grunstein's best playing. Splendid in tone and execution... Ms. Grunstein's musicality is strong, sensitive and imaginative. By any performance standards, this was a solid night's playing. She has a magnificent singing tone and a graceful but vibrant power extracted effortlessly in a variety of sounds from the keyboard."
"Certainly pianist, Sarah Grunstein, is a remarkable recitalist. Her first appearance... bespoke the formality of a strictly traditional concert style.
"Grunstein is a pianist who is worth attention. She has a formidable technique but is prepared to do much more than flourish technique across the surface of the music. Her interpretations are clearly the product of much thought and feeling, in well-balanced proportions. Her Beethoven Sonata recital... was well worth listening to."
"Sarah Grunstein... a musical poet at work."