...There was much to enjoy in a solo evening recital at the National Concert Hall by Malaysian-born pianist Bobby Chen. With the partial exception of Busoni’s mighty piano transcription of Bach’s solo violin chaconne, all items dated from the 19th century, and Chen seemed to play each one of them better than the last......Having first asserted itself in the central section of the fourth Impromptu, Chen’s instinct for disciplined flexibility informed a thunderous and truly epic account of the chaconne, kept Field’s quirky Variations on a Russian Folk Song on a compelling trajectory, and rendered the other-worldly impressions of Liszt’s Deux Légendes as things utterly persuasive.
(The Irish Times - Ireland)
…Chen is an armour-clad player of complete technique, a thinking musician, a natural Romantic. His Schubert positively glows; his boldly projected Haydn impresses for its Michelangeli-like clarity of execution. Petrushka, a marvel of exacting detail and precision attack, triumphs with the best – a powerfully coloured, authentically Russian journey. Nothing seems too difficult, yet nor is anything merely facile. The tension is perfectly gauged. It is so inevitably right that after a while you begin to wonder why everyone doesn’t play like this..........Pianist-watchers out for youthful urge and freshness caught on the wing will not want to miss Liszt’s Ballade or Franciscan Legends. Mega-high on the wow factor, they scale the awesome…Hearing Chen spur his Fazioli is to experience a distinctive cocktail of weight, balance and onward flow, the medium and its mechanics decisively understood and controlled from within. His arsenal of gran expressione phrases, thunderbolt octaves and basaltic chords quarried from the deep, Arrau/Russian-descended is imperial, his ability to suggest colour and image through touch, timing and dynamic voicing already masterly. Young bloods come no better.
(International Piano Magazine)
...Chen’s touch was masterful, combining the solid enviable technique of the Russian school with the assured elegance of his Claudio Arrau lineage. (Straits Times - Singapore)
...The Romeo and Juliet Suite bristles with energy and atmosphere, and Toccata coruscates. ****
(The Independent - UK)
..and an evening concert in which the young Malaysian pianist Bobby Chen made magic with Prokofiev.
(The Independent - UK)
...His accounts of the Ten Pieces from Romeo & Juliet Op.75 and the Op.11 Toccata being on altogether a different level of musical understanding and artistic projection...
(Musical Opinion - UK)