“Charlene Farrugia and the MPO did not fail to deliver. This still young and very dynamic pianist has matured a lot and gets even better. She has always had it in her and while playing more brilliantly and intelligently, she has not lost touch of simple charm and warm rapport, whether with the orchestra or the public. Her cast-iron concentration never became a rigid exercise, but was warm and flexible. She played with a determined ease, being as strong in the sharply marked brilliant passages as she was tender in the more reflective ones.”

“The soloists in Poulenc’s Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra were two very young pianists, Charlene Farrugia and Valeria Anne Fenech, who performed with technical conviction and a feeling for the music. They were clear in the faster passages and allowed their pianos to sing in the gentler passages and in the cadenzas. They showed impeccable co-ordination between them and were most amenable to the conductor’s baton.”

“Few of those present at the latest lunchtime recital at Sala Isouard were left in doubt as to the tremendous amount of talent displayed by 16-year old pianist Charlene Farrugia. She remains charming yet confident, has an air of almost child-like simplicity and appeal, yet is a youngster of great determination who works hard and obtains very good results. Even more resounding was the reaction to the last and completely different yet equally difficult work. All the more admirable was the pianist’s achievements when, after the recital it turned out that the young lady had only a week in which to learn Villa-Lobos’ devilishly difficult Dansa do Indio Branco, n.4 from Ciclo Brasileiro.”

“One dares say that Charlene Farrugia is the crown princess of Maltese pianists, and one has to hear her to believe what she can do at such a tender age. She is precocious at the keyboard, simple, unassuming and matter-of-fact in manner. Beneath that frail, wisp exterior there is a lot of passion and determination, enthusiasm such as performers her age hardly ever have. No faltering, no nervousness:she just plunges into the execution of pieces which older and more seasoned performers treat with respect and caution. Her expressive abilities, her technical prowess and preparation, with her clear tone and application of tone colour according to work and mood, combined to project each successive piece with its own attractive qualities.”

“Once more, Charlene Farrugia enraptured the audience with her performances of Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata, op. 53, Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 3, Chopin’s Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante, op. 22. Once more she outwitted with an extraordinary espieglerie all technical snares and rendered these difficult and demanding works with competence, verve, vigour and delicacy. The audience appreciated her really masterful performance of the Chopin and applauded warmly her delightful and singing legato.”

“With great professional competence, verve, vigour and delicacy, this young lady defended and revived the rather wan technical exercises composed by Mendelssohn. Guided by her infallible and great mnemonic ability, the 14-year old Charlene Farrugia played Chopin’s Scherzo in B minor in Horowitz’s tempo with an extraordinary precision, clarity and ease. She outwitted with an admirable espieglerie all the technical snares of this demanding work and demonstrated once more her crystal clear chords, delightful legato, awesome crescendi and soundful pianissimi with the very wise use of pedals. Charlene played Saint-Saens work with an immense energy and dazzling virtuosity. Her masterful performance of this extremely diabolical concert work provoked an outburst of indescribable applause.”

“During the EPTA Competition in May 1999, the 12-year old contestant Charlene Farrugia left me spellbound with her performances of works by Mozart, Saint-Saens, Moszkowsky and Debussy. One year later, the 13-year old prodigy threw me into a tizzy with her masterful performance of Mendelssohn’s Concerto Nr. 1 with the National Orchestra conducted by the British conductor Jonathan Butcher at the Manoel Theatre. This young lady is the possessor of a fascinating and delicate technique. Her dazzling octaves and double thirds, her crystal-shaped chords, her huge legato in ascending and chromatic sclaes as welkl as her extraordinary staccato reveal a great talent and a great music intelligence. Miss Farrugia’s performance of Mendelssohn’s concerto was warmly applauded at the Manoel by a cheerful audience, seduced by the unorthodox talent, grace and charm.”

“The audience present at the Manoel Theatre on 23rd May 2000, were simply elated by the performance given by Charlene Farrugia. When this pretty impish-looking teenager appeared impeccably attired on the stage the audience clapped thunderously to encourage her, but this was nothing in comparison to the resounding applause at the end of her performance.

“Undoubtedly pride of place in this concert was given to the Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor by Felix Mendelssohn, where young Charlene Farrugia brought the house down with a fine performance. This young lady has a talent which should be nurtured with care and passion. It was a joy to see young Charlene Farrugia pouring all her youthful energy into the music, while keeping her eyes riveted on the conductor. I have not seen anyone get a standing ovation at the Manoel for quite some time, but the one given to Charlene was amply merited. A cause for celebration indeed.”