Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra
Koljonen's violin tone alternated between strength and tenderness in the shifting moods of the Chausson... and brought this piece to a touching conclusion...
Her brilliant playing at the work's climax (Ravel "Tzigane") brought a burst of applause, and many in the balcony...stood in appreciation.
Champaign/Urbana News Gazette
Greenwich Symphony Orchestra
Koljonen's fingerwork in the second movement was astonishing and yet she played the sassy waltz "con molto rubata," with the feel of old-time blues. She integrated all corners of this assembly of technical and musical feats. The audience was stunned at the close of the work and rose for a standing ovation almost prior to applauding..."
Midland Symphony Orchestra
Koljonen went well beyond simply meeting the technical demands of the piece, bringing out the work's considerable emotion.
Midland Daily News
New Haven Symphony Orchestra
The tightly focused orchestra under conductor William Boughton played with such care, warmth and rhythmic variety that the performance would have been rewarding even without a soloist at center stage. But it had one, the remarkable Elissa Lee Koljonen, a violinist of charm and technical virtuosity.
New Haven Register
Bilbao Symphony Orchestra
Un violín de sonido cálido, tocado por una buena solista, Elissa Lee Koljonen, de arco ligero, excelente en la consecución de gradaciones de dinámica, expuso con carácter el atractivo, pero complejo concierto para violín de Walton, tan cargado de melodías extensas.
Koljonen played with every fiber of her being, giving an intense, powerful performance of this highly emotional showcase for violin. She was most eloquent in her sensuous lower range, which had the depth of a viola, during the first two movements.
Curtis Symphony Orchestra
She is...a violinist of immense presence. Technique is a given, but with a purpose. Case in point: the many fleeting moments of bending pitch and changing tone for expressive purposes. This was a knowing audience, so it might have detected her exquisite timing and precision. Or perhaps all it sensed was a violinist of considerable soul.
The best performance of this concerto I’ve heard featured Viktoria Mullova as the soloist. This performance by Koljonen belonged in the same class. It was so good that a review of the performance would essentially be a description of the concerto. The concerto is supposed to do quite a lot, and in Koljonen’s hands it did it all.
Broad Street Review