"Conductor Spivakov accentuated the comparison through his very tight yet sensually expressive direction..."
Rick Kardonne, The Jewish Tribune Toronto, May 13, 2009
"Spivakov and company are Russian to their souls. Their glorious sound is big but not vulgar. In the quiet moments, the music shimmers, then rises again like a volcanic rush of excitement, sweeping every listener with it. The maestro builds climaxes around tension, lengthening pauses just long enough so that the audience is panting for the next note."
Paula Citron, Classical 96.3 FM Toronto, April 28, 2009
"The orchestra also offered a richly wrought performance (enhanced by fine wind playing) of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9..."
Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, April 27, 2009
"Spivakov's conducting style is so dapper and so balletic...His Tchaikovsky was classic: so eloquent and so cogently shaped that it reminded us what a superb work it is."
Ken Winters, The Globe and Mail, April 30, 2009
"...the Philharmonic offered two beautifully contrasting Romeo and Juliet [works], first Tchaikovsky's sublime overture, then four razor-sharp movements from two Prokofiev suites."
Rebecca J. Ritzel, The Washington Post, April 27, 2009
"...He [Spivakov] managed his massive forces with crisp efficiency and put on display the orchestra's huge barrel-chested sound."
Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe, April 25, 2009
"Spivakov gave the orchestra and Rachmaninov's distinctive modality full rein. [He] and the orchestra gave a delicate, perfumed, but not pallid reading."
Jeffrey Gantz, Boston Phoenix, April 23, 2009
"...Spivakov and his players delivered the goods magnificently. [He] showed he clearly has a close-knit relationship with his orchestra in Stravinsky's Divertimento, The Fairy's Kiss. Enthusiastic ovations brought Spivakov back for a generous supply of encores."
Lawrence A. Johnson, The Miami Herald, April 12, 2009
"Even Stravinsky's Fairy's Kiss: Divertimento was captivating in its own way thanks to the strong musicianship and leadership of both the orchestra and Spivakov. Spivakov and his musicians achieved a string sound of luscious beauty with a bejeweled shining edge. Wednesday evening inspired us to name the National Philharmonic of Russia the best of them all!"
Gayle Williams, Sarasota Herald Tribune, April 10, 2009
"Under Maestro Vladimir Spivakov, the orchestra delivered Strauss's late-Romantic harmonies and long lines in a suitably wistful and understated manner...this orchestra played with all the discipline and style of a veteran ensemble."
Scott Warfield, Orlando Sentinel, April 6, 2009
"Spivakov led a lively account of this brilliant curtain-raiser, which nicely showcased the nimble Philharmonic strings."
Lawrence A. Johnson, The Miami Herald, April 9, 2007
"Conducted by Vladimir Spivakov...the 107-piece orchestra opened with a soaring performance of Shostakovich's Festive Overture that displayed its cohesive force and great nimbleness."
Laura Stewart, Daytona Beach News Journal, April 8, 2007
"Both vibrant and controlled under Maestro Vladimir Spivakov...[he] wrapped a cocoon of disciplined cacophony around the soloist with the opening movement's main theme, parting easily for the piano's answering subject."
Jack Zint, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 7, 2007
"If Spivakov, famous as a violinist, was an ideal accompanist, he was also a terrific parade grand marshal."
Sharon McDaniel, The Palm Beach Post, April 6, 2007
"Maestro Spivakov gets what he wants from his forces: dramatic dynamics, nimble tempos, legato brass singing and musical might. Spivakov sealed the captivating deal with the Symphony No. 5 in E minor...he tapped into emotional fraughtness honestly without dwelling on it. Heeding the clear vision of Spivakov, its [National Philharmonic of Russia] members play with a cohesiveness and insight that belies their short history, as if they have been doing this forever."
Margaret Shakespeare, Orlando Sentinel, March 30, 2007
"Spivakov and company had an abandon that made the music's drama hit home. The sheer range of the orchestra's sounds, from murmurs to flashes, played up the phantasmagorical streak that runs through the whole piece."
Steven Brown, The Charlotte Observer, March 28, 2007
"The highlight of the afternoon was the concerto's [Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 2] celebrated Adagio, where Spivakov created a gossamer halo around Kern's luscious phrases."
Robert Battey, The Washington Post, March 26, 2007
"Spivakov seemed to know just what we wanted. With a dancer's grace...Spivakov built up and finely honed the many dramatic crises of this work. Spivakov and orchestra battled their way through famous melodies and explosive releases of energy to a rousing climax."
John Frayne, The News-Gazette, March 16, 2007
"Spivakov relied a great deal on virtuosity...favored thick textures...and he demonstrated a love for a good earth-rattling climax. [He] left no room for uncertainty."
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2007
"[the Philharmonic's] performance...under the baton of Vladimir Spivakov was exceptional and often brilliant, with moments so vivid that the music felt almost wet, like fresh paint on a canvas...the credit has to lie with Spivakov whose conducting Sunday in San Francisco went beyond refined to cartographic, his balletic gestures delineating the musical landscape. A clean arc of the wand summoned golden glazings of strings; a snap of the wrist summoned a bolt of percussion."
Richard Scheinin, The Mercury News, February 27, 2007