PRESS: Cheerful, delightful, light-hearted – and yes fun, is how the concert programme notes described Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto. It was just that – and in dollops – under the hands of Romanian pianist Alexandria Dariescu when she appeared with Royal Northern Sinfonia, before a capacity audience at Sage Gateshead. From its sprightly opening chords she injected the work with crackling energy, while the RNS under the baton of Andrew Gourlay responded with pinpsharp precision in their exchanges… Dariescu extracted every ounce of emotion from it…Dariescu, for her part, made light work of the tricky runs, taking the finale to an electrifying climax.

The Northern Echo, Gavin Engelbrecht.