The New York Times
April 26, 1987

Debuts in Review


Eduardus Halim, who played his New York debut concert Thursday night at Alice Tully Hall, is in the Master of Music program at the Juilliard School, where he studies with Rudolf Firkusny.  His other teachers include Stephen Sulungan and the late Sascha Gorodnitzki.  He has won several honors, most recently the Juilliard William Petschek Piano Debut Award, which made the Thursday evening concert possible.

Mr. Halim has a splendid technique and he summons a dewey, exceedingly beautiful tone from the piano.  At times, indeed, for this listener the tone seemed a bit too pretty, particularly in music such as the Clementi Sonata in F-sharp minor (Op. 25, No. 5), in which a more structural and objective approach might have been welcome.

Schumann's "Davidsbűndlertǎnze" were spirited and sharply delineated, Mr. Halim's dreamlike, pedaled sonority set off by a remarkably straightforward and unsentimental interpretation.

The best playing of the night came toward the end of the evening with a weightless performance of Chopin's Nocturne in E flate (Op. 55, No. 2), and a brilliantly virtuosic rendition of Stravinsky's "Three Movements From Petrouchka."  Here the attractive but rather generic luster that Mr. Halim had summoned for Clementi, Shumann, Brahms, Chopin and Liszt changed markedly; this was a bright, bristling performance of snarling wit, and it proved a fitting cap to an auspicious debut.