“Fast moving and radiant, prismatic and fascinating.”
March 12, 2023. Times Union, “Mini review: Albany Symphony ‘daring’ Saturday night” by Joseph Dalton.
February, 2023. Gramophone, “Review: Inbal Segev: 20 for 2020” by Richard Whitehouse.
“The stunner was ‘Veil’ by Viet Cuong.”
October 3, 2022. Los Angeles Times, “Review: What is Pan-American music? Gustavo Dudamel and pianist Gabriela Martinez have some ideas” by Mark Swed.
“In between came Viet Cuong’s latest, Next Week’s Trees, a syncopated yet hushed and entirely enthralling meditation for strings. The crowd loved it.”
November 14, 2021. Times Union, “Mini review: Albany Symphony glad to be back at Troy Music Hall” by Joseph Dalton.
“The sweet sadness was delicious.”
September 11, 2021. St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Review: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s return to the Ordway carries gravity and hope” by Sheila Regan.
“Again and Again by Viet Cuong opens the album and is one of the album’s standout compositions…Cuong’s use of the instrument is masterful.”
May 17, 2021. I Care if You Listen, “On [alloy], Shi-An Costello Deftly Mixes Approaches to the Prepared Piano” by Greg Nahabedian.
“A lot of interesting interplay into a short amount of time…There’s an inviting folk flavor to the piece…It’s an intriguing work that deserves a place on future chamber concerts.”
May 10, 2021. Star Tribune, “New and old mix in a typically adventurous St. Paul Chamber Orchestra outing” by Rob Hubbard.
“The title-number, Viet Cuong’s Wax and Wire, is thrilling…This well-orchestrated, rhythmically vital work is a wild, enjoyable ride.”
May 1, 2021. College Music Society Symposium, “Wax and Wire. 2019. Latitude 49” by Andrew Allen.
“Cuong, 30, says he loves ‘centering pieces around unexpected or whimsical elements, like honky oboe multiphonics, clinking wine glasses, or scraping plastic combs.’ But the Atlanta-based composer — a former early-career musician-in-residence at Dumbarton Oaks — constructs swirling worlds around these winks (see: ‘RE(NEW)AL,’ a percussion concerto on clean energy that he wrote for Sandbox Pecussion). In 2021, Cuong will premiere ‘Next Week’s Trees,’ the first work to come from his three-year residency with the California Symphony, and later in the year, Eighth Blackbird and the U.S. Navy Band will premiere his concerto ‘Vital Sines.'”
January 23, 2021. The Washington Post, “21 for ’21: Composers and performers who sound like tomorrow” by Michael Andor Brodeur.
“The use of multi-phonics here is genius…The conversation between the two soloists is common, but Cuong brings it to a new level using the extended technique.”
December 14, 2020. NYS Music, “Albany Symphony ‘Beethoven Birthday Bash’ Promotes Youth” by Joseph Dugan.
“Playing tuned glasses is a venerable party trick…but Mr. Cuong and the Sō players—Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting—found enough fresh twists to make it a rich, musical experience.”
March 2, 2020. Wall Street Journal, “Inventive Percussion Without a Drum in Sight” by Allan Kozinn
“It channeled Poulenc’s flair for instant affect into a meta-stylistic exercise, Cuong spraying graffiti on neoclassicism the way the neoclassicists tagged 18th- and 19th-century forms and repertoire. It plays like a sketch, but an effective one, the single joke renewed with increasing, Pythonesque insistence.”
January 26, 2020. Washington Classical Review, “Poulenc Trio confronts their namesake’s image at Candlelight Concert Society” by Matthew Guerrieri
“Dance also figured powerfully in Viet Cuong’s irresistible ‘Electric Aroma,’ a sparsely knit, jabbing tango in which instrumental fragments coalesced around a ferocious, momentum-ridden through line.”
December 17, 2019. San Francisco Chronicle, “Review: Eighth Blackbird turns conversational quirks into music” by Joshua Kosman
“Hugely energetic…a thrilling opening.”
December 17, 2019. San Francisco Classical Voice, “Eighth Blackbird and Pamela Z Looking At (and Appreciating) Each Other” by Nick Rich
“Cuong created a brilliant and darkly humorous work.”
June 12, 2019. I Care if You Listen, “’Sing Out! New York:’ Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival 2019” by Alyssa Kayser-Hirsh
“[A] pop-y, charming, laughing score.”
June 3, 2019. The Daily Gazette, “Albany Symphony delivers pair of cutting-edge programs” by Geraldine Freedman
“…high spirited and orchestrated with a transparent and glowing whimsy. Colors, shapes and forms were his toolbox. Isn’t that all a good composer really needs?”
June 1, 2019. Times Union, “Message, music balance well in Dogs of Desire” by Joseph Dalton
“…eerie and ethereal sounds created on 14 wine glasses of different shapes and sizes”
May 22, 2019. The Guardian UK, “Sandbox Percussion / Astrid review – virtuosos bring the fun of the fairground” by Rian Evans
“A whole series of extraordinary effects…oddly hypnotic.”
May 20, 2019. Seen and Heard International (UK), “Vale of Glamorgan Festival Continues in Cardiff” by Paul Corfield Godfrey
“The evening’s break out hit was a new piece by composer Viet Cuong…[who] managed to deliver in brilliant fashion…it was just about all anyone could talk about.”
October 14, 2018. Times Union, “Review: Albany Symphony Orchestra at Palace Theatre, 10/13/18” by Joseph Dalton
“So Percussion reassembled at the Kaplan Penthouse…, presenting an engrossing and entertaining program of wildly inventive pieces by John Cage, Caroline Shaw and Viet Cuong.”
August 20, 2017. The New York Times, “Critic’s Notebook: Encouraging Signs of Freshness at the Mostly Mozart Festival” by Anthony Tommasini
“Viet Cuong’s alluring ‘Water, Wine Brandy, Brine’ used water-filled wineglasses to create spiraling flights and (by sliding wet fingers over rims) ethereal sustained harmonies.”
August 4, 2017. The New York Times, “Wine Bottles, Twigs and Trash Cans Join the Mostly Mozart Orchestra” by Anthony Tommasini
“The ingenious central movement used choreography inspired by wind turbines…Leaving aside the clever visuals, the music was snappy and intricate and easily held its own.”
December 27, 2017. Times Union, “Capital Region’s top art, cultural experiences of 2017” by Joseph Dalton
“The percussion concerto, titled ‘Re(new)al,’ was…an absolute highlight of this year’s American Music Festival from the ASO. It was tough for anything else on the Dogs’ program to compete…[with] Cuong’s knockout piece.”
June 8, 2017. Times Union, “Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival a mixed bag” by Joseph Dalton
“Cuong’s theatrical and wonderfully structured three-section ‘Re(new)al’ featured the Sandbox Percussion quartet, which ‘played’ tuned water glasses and compressed air containers besides snare drums, cymbals and xylophones in infectious beats against a captivating fairyland of instrumental sound.”
June 4, 2017. The Daily Gazette, “American Music Festival shows future of classical in capable, inventive hands” by Geraldine Freedman
“…Viet Cuong used nothing but Ikea stemware to create a charmingly cohesive piece…reminiscent of moaning surf, creaking piers and keening gulls.”
February 3, 2016. Vancouver Observer, “Redshift brings edgy quartet to Waterfall atrium” by Lincoln Kaye
“Viet Cuong’s jazzy mélange of styles in ‘Wax and Wire’…brilliantly described the feelings evoked by a piece of museum sculpture.”
October 20, 2015. Cihan/Today’s Zaman, “SONIC Festival’s Sounds Of A New Century Enthrall New York” by Alexandria Ivanoff
“If the swinging chase-scene music of ‘Beggar’s Lace,’ the second movement of Viet Cuong’s ‘Prized Possessions,’ left you breathless, it spoke in a way for an entire concert that functioned as a happily chaotic report from the compositional front.”
May 27, 2015. Philadelphia Inquirer, “Review: Prism offers a festival of premieres” by Peter Dobrin
“…Viet Cuong’s 10:29 minute title track is a rare example of a newly-minted contemporary heavyweight that hits the spot on the first hearing.”
April 7, 2015. Classical Guitar Magazine, “Krystin O’Mara’s ‘Obsession’ is an Impressive Offering of New and Known Pieces” by Paul Fowles
“Obsession, by Viet Cuong (1990) is a gem.”
June 7, 2014. Cleveland Classical, “CD Review: Obsession — Krystin O’Mara, classical guitar” by Mike Telin
“The dazzler among the premieres was 23-year-old Viet Cuong’s ‘Lacquer and Grit,’ an exercise in ‘overblown harmonics’— the sounds that flutists produce when they overblow their instruments… the result was an exciting virtuoso flute display for Mimi Stillman, combined with lively music that would have been enjoyable even if you didn’t know the composer had placed the flutist on a high wire without a net.”
May 21, 2013. Broad Street Review, “Dolce Suono’s Debussy farewell: Debussy and his putative successors” by Tom Purdom
“Cuong’s ‘Zanelle’ for unaccompanied clarinet provided Kanasevich a great curtain-raiser for the afternoon. It’s a jaunty, jazzy score with concise melodic riffs that provide abundant material to develop.”
January 18, 2011. Baltimore Sun, “Music in the Great Hall spotlights promising clarinetist Gleb Kanasevich” by Tim Smith
“After a brief intermission, six more student compositions were performed by a variety of ensembles, including…a show-stealing solo clarinet piece titled ‘Zanelle’ by Viet Cuong, which showcased Miles Jaques’ virtuosity.”
Spring 2010. Peabody Magazine, “Finding Their Voice” by Brett McCabe