"Sensitivity and subtle art of interpretation" - the symphonic variations by César Franck were in best hands performed by Sonia Achkar. Alternations between energetic phrases and elegiac lamentations require a high sensitivity and fine interpretation art that represent Sonia Achkar as a pianist. Calmly lyrically she communicated in accordance with the TfN-Philharmonic Orchestra under the finespun and well accentuated baton of Achim Falkenhausen. The collaboration led to utterly fascinating and contrasting characters with soft and lyrical to striking and heroic shapes. Beautifully delicate piano figurations with damped string sounds created an atmosphere of dream and rapture.
(Goslarsche Zeitung, 9/2018)
Another highlight of the evening followed: Mozart's piano concerto KV 466 in d-minor. The soloist was well-known pianist and professor at the universities of Leipzig and Stuttgart, Sonia Achkar. A sublime concerto with highest demands on cooperation between soloist and orchestra. (...) The pianist proved to have excellent technical skills with the right sense for subtle interpretations of Mozart´s compositions. (...) The so-called "Eroica-Variations and Fugue" Op.35 by Ludwig van Beethoven demanded a highly virtuoso capacity from Sonia Achkar, which she fulfilled seemingly effortlessly. Sonia Achkar can undoubtedly call herself one of the best piano performers of her generation.
(Sächsische Zeitung, 10/2017)
"The highest level of piano artistry - playful elegance and brilliance: pianist Sonia Achkar" (...) Inspired by the encounter with Bach's son, Mozart's d-minor piano concerto is filled with melodic finesses. Therefore, excellent pianist Sonia Achkar had the opportunity to display her sense for finely carved, quasi celebrated and melodically well formed passages (...) One could feel the high level of piano artistry in subtly shaped soloistic episodes that succeeded in playful elegance and brilliance with finest nuances, without mere straining after effect. Sonia Achkar is an interpreter in service of the compositional message with a noble culture of sound and without any cheap showmanship.
(Die Rheinpfalz, 12/2016)
The Pianist Sonia Achkar left a tremendously strong impression. Her Ravel playing sounded entirely clear, very delicate and linear, mostly propellent and yet lyrically swinging. In the slow movement with beautiful colour changes, in the final movement full of reliably controlled motivity.
The “Sunnisheimer Klaviertage 2014“ are a highly enjoyable musical experience. So far, each concert was a little jewel like the evening with pianist Sonia Achkar. Cheerful, agile, vivacious and as if she would embrace music and life, she played with ease and freshness that was overwhelming.
(RN Newspaper, 5/2014)
Most of the time, musical highlights come in the end – also here with Beethoven’s third piano concerto that left no wish unfulfilled. The soloist Sonia Achkar enchanted the audience with her finely nuanced and easily flowing, elegant touch and her singing poetic presentation of the themes without striving for effect and overstatement. The antithetic character of the main themes was not just played dynamically bold but carefully formed in articulatory fine structure.
(Die Rheinpfalz, 11/2013)
Sonia Achkar controls her touch naturally and achieves exactly the sound and degree of strength that she wishes on every single note. At the same time her rhythmic sensitivity in every tiny detail is very fascinating.
The concert started with Shostakovich’s quintet in G major from 1940 (…) In particular Sonia Achkar’s beautifully carrying and supporting piano playing and the cellist Hanna Sloane with her intense sound and great musical dedication were remarkable.
(Nordjyske Stiftstidende, 8/2013)
Rich in sound, an enormous palette of colours was achieved. In this playing, there was musical intelligence suberbly paired with deep expression.
(RN Newspaper 10/2012)
After the intermission the audience experienced an excellent interpretation of Robert Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces Opus 12. Sonia Achkar remarkably brought out the janus-faced character of the master that can be found repeatedly in this piece. Dreamy Eusebius on the one hand (“Warum?”) and stormy Florestan (“Aufschwung”) on the other. Her fabulous technique mainly emerged in the virtuoso passages of the movement “Traumes Wirren” (…) With an opulent encore, the popular Fantasy Impromptu in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin, Sonia Achkar demonstrated that she not only has an intimate approach to German romantic music but also a refined sense for the charm of French piano music.
(Mannheimer Morgen, 6/2012)
Everybody can play loudly but to play quietly requires high artistry. Sonia Achkar revealed at the “Kolosseum Lübeck” how enchantingly beautiful a gentle piano sound can be. Her piano playing especially in the beginning of Beethoven’s trio “The Ghost” was so wonderful that it ennobled the piece and the sound of the grand piano.
(Lübecker Nachrichten, 4/2012)
Sonia Achkar was able to create a bouncy and flexible touch that turned staccato as well as legato passages into a flowing and singing experience – in both, the outer movements that were played with a lot of energy and the ballad-like "Larghetto".
(Südwest Presse, 2/2012)
The opening was made by Sonia Achkar’s interpretation of Ravel’s “Sonatine pour le piano” where she showed her virtuoso skills. The introducing moderato was referring to Bach’s preludes. In the minuet relatively simple melodies were paired with comparably complicated accompaniment before the work ended with a triumphal finale.
(Schleswig Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag, 1/2012)
Most notably Sonia Achkar shone as a virtuoso soloist and appeared simultaneously as an outstanding chamber musician.
(Mannheimer Morgen 10/2011)
The pianist Sonia Achkar knew how to use the spaces with a finesse of touch, an art of phrasing and effortless virtuosity for her and Beethoven (…) Beautiful, how the singing in the Andante cantabile was taken seriously and the colour changes in the Rondo-Finale were vividly illustrated.
(Kieler Nachrichten, 9/2011)
Frédéric Chopin wrote his Piano Concerto No.2, f-minor at the age of 19 and out of love. It is audible: vigorous and energetic the music of the outer movements comes along - the middle movement is a wonderful declaration of love. Sonia Achkar, already a university instructor and widely travelled concert pianist, (…) presented together with the Philharmonic Orchestra, a splendid interpretation of the work. Orchestra and pianist completely fulfilled the intention of the composer: virtuosic and in exquisite shaping they let this marvelous romantic music ring through the auditorium.
(Goslarsche Zeitung, 9/2011)
Magic moments of piano artistry – a symbiosis of virtuosity and extraordinary musicality: Sonia Achkar revealed how wonderful piano playing can be if one penetrates into the depth of a composition (…) The audience honoured her with standing ovation. Her concert program was designed with varied challenges in interpretation that she all mastered with bravura (...) Her playing showed the most delicate and subtle nuances with shades until the most gentle pianissimo and furthermore a distinct sense for tonal aesthetics (…) The wholehearted dedication to the spirit and the character of the music in every moment of the performance as well as the ability to capture and convey its idiom, colouring, stylistics and aesthetics are the big strengths of this pianist.
(Die Rheinpfalz, 6/2008)
German resident pianist Sonia Achkar shaped Mozart’s Piano Concerto in c-minor KV 491 with a tremendous amount of empathy and struck the right tone of deep resignation that can rarely be found in Mozart. Her singing and at times dramatic piano sound was demonstrated in effortlessly played runs and figurations as well as in expressive structuring of grand melodic arches. The melancolic slow movement was performed in perfect interaction with the orchestra. With a velvety piano tone she interpreted sensitively all nuances of the musical lines. The third movement was captivating through a supple and brilliant drive as well as through the energetic and gripping performance of the pianist.
(Goslarsche Zeitung, 9/2004)
As a Beetoven interpreter Sonia Achkar combined musicality with esprit. The affinity to internalisation in Beethoven’s c-minor sonata Op.10 No.1 was unmistakable. And the pianist is able to deal with breathtaking brisance without empty mechanical virtuosity since she her range of touch is filled with astonishing sensitivity. She possesses so much imagination that her “Adagio molto“ sounded natural and the cantability of the movement gained a convincing inner emotional structure. Most notably her colour palette, particularly in the intimate dynamic parts of Chopin’s a-flat major etude and in Schumann’s “Grillen“ was highly multifaceted and full of virtuoso sparkle.
(Die Rheinpfalz, 9/1998)