Manuel is an extraordinary talent. Almost magic. Forms a symbiosis with the piano and has great magnetism with the audience. His search for artistic truth is exemplar. His aesthetics is based on great musical morals. He is an unique talent. Furthermore, he brings together earnest professionalism and dedication without measure. We are in presence of a future star of the piano.
Aquiles Delle Vigne
Gifted with enormous development, pianistic capacity (sonority and rapture), sensitive poetry and virtuosity, reaches several genres and comes to our sight his knowledge of the works and the variety of his toucher. With great inner strength the years will develop. A brilliant pianist.
Helena Sá e Costa, Porto, March 2001
…Manuel Araújo received applauses and standing audience in the end to greet his élan and interpretative class. Supplied by Nature with perfect pianistic hands, for dimensions and nature of touch on the keyboard, Araújo possesses as well a vibrating sensibility that allowed him to interpret with strong dynamic and emotive contrasts Portuguese classical music of romantic style…
Sandra Matuella, in Alto Adige
The young Manuel Araújo left Palácio Foz in rapture with the way he performed Liszt. His recital ended with a so extraordinary episode that is imperative to register. Concluded the Mephisto Waltz, a gentleman with greyish beards raised himself, moved, and removed from the neck a huge chain of silver. Said it belonged to his deceased wife and that he wanted the pianist to keep it; put it in the hands of the 17 years old boy and left. This moving gesture, proper of the 19th century, gives an idea of how the recital was.
The program was an age-old delight: “Moonlight Sonata”, “hits” of Chopin, Hungarian Rhapsody nr.2, of Liszt. Manuel Araújo showed he has fingers and fibre. The Beethoven sonata sounded convinced, with some exaggerations of novice – like “sforzandi” non advisable to cardiac patients. It was in Chopin that a more genuine voice was felt, with that naturalness in the fluctuation of tempo which is synonym of sensibility. Was vertiginous the Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. 66, had verve and panache the three valses and the Polonaise Op. 40 nr.1.
As someone in the hall would say, feels good to listen to a 17 years old pianist that plays like someone with 17 years. With eagerness and audacity. With energetic and daring sound. With an attitude at times thoughtless, but always authentic and generous. There’s plenty of time to become conscientious; blessed who doesn’t start from there. Especially if having enough technique to give and sell. For all this, the astounding moment of the program – after a promising passage on Scriabin – had to be Liszt. And no less than the 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody, that pyrotechnical colossus, enraptured and hilarious, so out of fashion during cerebral and aseptic decades. The young pianist assumed it with sassiness and furor, culminating in the amazing modernity of the “Mephisto Waltz”.
The crowd filling the Hall of Mirrors stood up and received as encore a “Diabolical Suggestion”, of Prokofiev, of satanic efficiency. It wouldn’t be necessary to regard the quantity of prizes Araújo has already won: here is a pianist to be mentioned in future.
Alexandre Delgado, in Público
…Araújo gives a creditable performance of the Well-Tempered Clavier…
Ingrid Van Frankenhuyzen, in NRC Handelsblad
… Brilliant Portuguese pianist…
Sander Hiskemuller, in Trouw
… a sober, earthly interpretation of Bach’s composition… [Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One]…
Annette Embrechts, in De Volkskrant
The charismatic young Portuguese pianist Manuel Araújo proved, with his sensitive playing that Bach’s music is indeed cosmic and from the heavens. His playing exudes a certain soft-spoken and modest charisma that nevertheless is of such intensity and imagination that you are wholly drawn into the music.
Ali Mahbouba, in Dance Europe