"Chausson's Piano Trio was superbly and intensely played here, with Ms. Zhulla and Mr. Canellakis finding welcome depth of tone, and Mr. Barnatan deploying well his wonderfully light touch."
- The New York Times
"The highlight of the night was Mozart’s Violin Sonata in e minor. Howsmon and Zhulla poignantly rendered the bare opening statement of the first theme, setting a mood of solemn pathos. The heartbroken melody of the second movement was wrenching, decorated by the most distinctive feature of Zhulla’s playing: her wonderful vibrato."
"[Zhulla's] performance was an insouciant romp through Ravel’s version of the blues. The first movement again showcased Zhulla’s singing vibrato. The swanky second movement could easily fail in the hands of a shy performer, but Zhulla had the requisite panache to pull it off, bending phrases with a sly musical grin. And her technique shone while she imitated wind-up toys in the third movement."
"...Chausson's Piano Trio has a hypersensitive atmosphere that requires special sympathy, which was most clearly displayed here by violinist Areta Zhulla, pianist Inon Barnatan, and cellist Nicholas Cannelakis...Antonin Dvorak's Opus 40 Nocturne, in particular, (played by Zhulla, Cannelakis, Ani Kavafian, Matthew Lipman and David Grossman) had ideal shimmering gentleness, with especially smooth and dreamy tone."
- Chicago Tribune
"I'll turn to the absolute pinnacle of Zhulla's recital: Bach's Chaconne from the Partita in D minor. Her performance was unimpeachable. She took us on an authentic journey, with dynamic and tempo contrasts expertly judged. The expressiveness was enthralling at every point. The initial thickening of texture with string-crossings keyed to an accented note, with each figure helping to outline the harmony, gave me goosebumps."
"[Zhulla] opened up a whole world to us with a performance that went beyond Bach's laying out a variety of ideas suitable to the short, repeated bass line that defines the chaconne form."
- Jay Harvey of Indianapolis Star
"Concerts at the Auditorium du Louvre are characterized by a level that rarely leaves much to be desired... however, Areta Zhulla's performance was undoubtedly still a notch above, and in a program of great stylistic variety."
"The Greek violinist offered a natural and balanced view of Mozart's Twenty-fifth sonata, with a legato so smooth... not surprising, knowing that she has studied with Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman."
"Zhulla's touching Salut d'Amour, Op. 12 gave immediacy to Elgar's expressive love poem taking it above sentiment to enduring vows. With La Capriceuse, Op. 17, Zhulla's bow danced over the strings with humor and grace building momentum with bold and flirty rhythmic perception."
- NUVO Newspaper
"Impressively luminous and grand, Areta Zhulla's sound offered a rich variety of nuances... her interpretation was molded with clarity, rare emotional sensitivity, and internal articulation."
- The Daily Newspaper of Athens
Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco