"Ms. Shao gave the suite an eloquent, powerful performance, and seemed comfortable with both the lyrical and angular
currents of Mr. Wilson's style. She gave an equally winning account of Beethoven's Sonata in A (Op. 69), its salient features being perfectly
centered intonation, a lush, sweet tone and both speed and precision in the jauntier parts of the Scherzo and the closing Allegro vivace."
- New York Times
"Ms. Shao's contributions to the trio were also strong and focused. She also joined Mr. Wilson for a beautifully phrased and interestingly textured account of the Debussy Cello Sonata."
- New York Times
"In the Debussy Cello Sonata, Shao demonstrated a superior sense of style, playing with elegance."
- Strad Magazine
"Cellist Sophie Shao's Merkin Hall debut in December was first-rate. Her technique is excellent, her tone beautiful
and expressive; she projects seriousness and simplicity. Beethoven's Variations of a Mozart Theme were leisurely and charming; Bartok's First
Rhapsody, originally for violin, had fire and flair, Schubert's 'Arpeggione' Sonata and Brahms' E-Minor Sonata, Op. 38, were deeply felt and
- Strings Magazine
"The soloist for the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 was Sophie Shao. A diminuitive 20 year old with delicate features,
she nonetheless conveyed an aggressive presence once she sat down with her instrument. She didn't play the concerto so much as inhabit it. This
is very mature music, this Shostakovich. It is music of hard experience, not innocence. This is no 'jocular march' as the first movement is
described in the program notes, and there are no 'high spirits' in the finale except for high anxiety. Shao understood all of this, as well as
the oppressive tragedy of the slow movement. This is what they mean by 'emotional intelligence.' As for technique, forget it. The lengthy
cadenza works itself up from ruminations on the 'Dies irae' motive to a feverish rush all over the fingerboard. In the fast movements Shao is
often willing to sacrifice beauty of tone for raw intensity, but when beauty of tone is called for, she's got it."
- The Ithaca Times
"In an evening full of flashing color and of serene beauty, cellist Sophie Shao and pianist Melvin Chen presented a
program of music for cello and piano to an enthusiastic audience… What made this concert so special was the excitement Shao and Chen brought to
their offering, and the deep understanding they obviously had of the music."
- The Oak Ridger
"Ms. Shao's rendition of the cello sonata was broad and open. She has a soothing tenor in her instrument and the
affectionate emotionality to sing passages through their natural end while keeping her feelings in balance with the scale of the musical poetry
- New York Sun