“That’s often the definition of greatness in music – when something as abstract as pure tone starts to tap you on the shoulder with a message to look outside of music, and this [Sharlat’s Piano Quartet] does that emphatically… it might be one of the most compelling works to enter the chamber music literature in some time. His aesthetic is unique, and yet it evolves even during the course of the work.”
—Philadelphia Inquirer
“I predict [the Aizuri Quartet] will generate buzz for commissioning Yevgeniy Sharlat. His String Quartet no. 3, subtitled “RIPEFG,” is the most startlingly compelling string quartet by an under-50 American composer I’ve heard in years… “RIPEFG” is a potent work by a composer with a unique voice. Plenty of Americans can write a good piece, but they ultimately end up sounding like something that you’ve heard before… Sharlat has a strong compositional voice unlike anyone else’s. That is a rare gift..”
—San Diego Union Tribune
“The program closed with an exciting double premiere: a new dance by Byrd to new music by Sharlat, who is on the faculty at the Butler School of Music. Sharlat was born in Moscow and immigrated to the United States in the mid-Nineties, and in a way, it seems that his vibrant, bittersweet String Quartet No. 4 could only have come from the wide-frame, complex experiences of an immigrant. Light and dark weren't opposites but, rather, shades of a single phenomenon. Midway through the piece, one of the violinists produced a harmonica, whose sounds were emulated by the remaining strings. Soon after, the harmonica was replaced with a kazoo, its brazen childishness eventually devolving into something like an alarm, fading in and out from behind the strings. By the end of the piece, all four musicians were on kazoos, harmonizing a tune that was both haunting and ridiculous, in a heartbreaking, charming sort of way. The dance, Byrd's "August 1, 1966," confirmed that this was an elegy. Spectrum's ensemble of 13 dancers, wearing soft fabrics in shades of gray, seemed to pause time to explore the emotions that resonate from the terrible day when Charles Whitman shot 49 people from the University of Texas clock tower – and, by association, the terror, anxiety, and mourning of similarly dark days in American civil history."
—Austin Chronicle
“The most striking performance was a piece by composer Yevgeniy Sharlat, who trained in Russia before moving to the United States when he was 16. The work is austere, fragmented, and despite the presence of a complex, emotionally tortured melody, the piece drew significantly upon “sound events,” sounds produced conventionally, or not, and often in isolation. The challenge to the listener is to interpret and emotionally engage these sounds as a projection of the dumka (lament) aspect of the piece. For about 15 minutes, and reaching a striking climax, the piece created an experience in which one had to grapple with the conflict between Russia’s glorious artistic achievements with the horror of what is happening in Ukraine. This is a work of great pathos and emotional conflict and is remarkable in its emotional force”
—Calgary Herald
“[Lar Lubovitch] even created an actual crisis for the work’s dancers, by replacing at the last minute the music that he had used in making the piece, Liszt’s “Transcendental Études” for piano, with a new score by Yevgeniy Sharlat… The cinematic feeling that had taken hold at the beginning ran through the work. The experience was like watching an intimate ensemble drama, enacted in a style of purposeful ugliness… The ungainliness of the movement went hand in hand with Sharlat’s score, and the combination created a riveting unease.”
—The New Yorker
“Sharlat’s Pavane for 18 Strings produced rich string sonorities that seemed fitting for one born in Moscow, although the 29-year-old composer is U.S.-educated. The piece held one’s interest for nearly 30 minutes, as tonal ideas articulated by, for example, a euphonious pair of cellos, emerged from a prevailing atonal background and then receded.”
—Financial Times
“Talented and creative. [Pavane] presented restless music layered with sound that was melancholy, sweet and nearly still. Rapid juxtapositions and developmental collisions pressed through a tempo scheme that intensified until a final cadence spun itself out of control. The coda flipped inside-out and dissolved amid sparkles from the four violas and spitting pizzicati from the basses. It was a charismatic work.”
—Hartford Courant
Interesting, mysterious… other-worldly.
—The New York Sun
Sharlat’s Divertissement was wonderfully written and superbly performed, plain and simple. This guy really knows how to write music.