The church was filled to capacity, and at the second performance the response was even more overwhelming than the first. His programming is outstanding, and his verbal program notes are excellent. He has an unusually fine way of establishing a relationship with the audience very quickly.
ORGANIST BRADLEY WELCH DRAWS RADIANCE AND LUSTER FROM INSTRUMENT: Negotiated [the] instrument with astonishing ease and spoke about the music with engaging insight. An expert at defining darks, lights, shadows and colors, Welch set an ominous tone to begin Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in A minor, but it didn’t take long to blossom into full radiance....transformed this [Guilmant] music from bombast to great music.
A world-class virtuoso. A breathtaking performance ... intensely moving.
Visceral Excitement...consistently the most compelling player (in the competition)...he played with unmatched assurance and élan.
Clearly created the most excitement (in the competition)...there was a welcome naturalness in his playing, an effortless grace.
To invoke an old Southern expression, Bradley Hunter Welch plays the organ like nobody’s business. Between the virtuosity of the playing and the easy going spoken commentary, he also proved that ‘entertainer’ and ‘organist’ needn’t be mutually exclusive. It would be hard to play Widor any better than this....splendidly idiomatic and communicative.
A spectacular solo program...sensitive, well-balanced performances of the two required concerti both beautifully registered and delivered with requisitevirtuosity as well as deep musical insight....a powerhouse organist with considerable communicative skills...the subtlest and most consistent player among the contestants.
Welch’s playing [with the Grand Rapids Symphony] was precise and expressive, never overbearing. All of the myriad colors and timbres at his disposal were beautifully deployed.
A grand and glorious concert it was and one those who attended will never forget. Filled with excitement and eagerness, but played with masterful control.
We are totally sold on Bradley’s professional and musical abilities! There was unanimous consensus that it was the best recital we’ve ever had.
I simply cannot say enough about this remarkably talented and genuinely charming young man! Absolutely everything about his visit here was the best it could possibly be.
He is already a well-seasoned musician and a joy to present. The performance was splendid. His strong artistic musicianship is well supported with solid assured technique. His registrations were carefully and stylistically chosen and communicated his thorough knowledge of the music and our instrument. His verbally articulated program notes were clear and concise and also very well done.
Our audience loved Bradley! His musicianship is superb, and his performance was the finest I have heard in my 13 years here.