Here are links to the full text of some reviews of Rolnick's work.
Neil's CD Ex Machina has "an immediacy and ever-permutating spontaneity ... that is as playful as it is serious." Read Greg Applegate's Nov. 2016 review on classicalmodernmusic.blogpot.com.
Mina Lee, of Nexus Media News, wrote about Oceans Eat Cities in a feature about the Creative Climate Awards in New York City, which appeared in the Huffington Post. (Scroll down in the link to find the section on Oceans Eat Cities.) Nov 11, 2016
In her review of his concert at Atlas Performing Arts, Anne Midgette cited Neil as “a leading figure in the New York downtown composers scene” and said “it was … a terrific concert. Rolnick plays with the lines between computer and acoustic music. … The laptop pieces … were entirely as engaging as the acoustic ones. … WakeUp involved samples from two Everly Brothers songs … merging and melding into each other and in and out of various shadings of dreamlike states as the sound paced back and forth across the stage.” Midgette praises Cello Ex Machina, saying cellist Ashley Bathgate “plays the computer and the cello at the same time, by means of foot controls that took phrases she played and continued to bounce them around her live music, sending her into duet with versions of herself as if she were a sun (with her warm, glowing melodic lines) surrounded by an ever-growing number of musical orbits, individual notes pinging and ponging around her.”
Anne Midgette, Washington Post, January 31, 2016
Gardening At Gropius House is discussed in CNN.Style, July 2015.
Gardening at Gropius House "gives us an alternative vision of modernity or post-modernity ... worth the price of admission." Read Greg Applegate's Jan. 2014 review on classicalmodernmusic.blogspot.com.
Harry Rolnick's (no relation) review calls Gardening At Gropius House a "bumptious, pumping, pulsating, delightfully rhythmical concerto ... a piece of unfettered ebullience." www.concertonet.com June 13, 2013
In his review of Scenes from MONO, Harry Rolnick (still no relation) says: "Mr. Rolnick has shown himself to be a master contrapuntist - i.e., a composer who can take the simplest music and wind it around in the most intricate circles long before we realize we're inside his web." www.concertonet.com November 30, 2011
In his preview for Scenes from MONO, Allan Kozinn describes MONO Prelude as "a haunting work that juxtaposes the noise and ringing of tinnitus with vital, drivem music that conveys his determination to overcome the challenge." NY Times Sunday Arts & Leisure Section, November 27, 2011.
Kozinn describes MONO Prelude as "a haunting spoken text ... with driven, vital music" in his NY Times review of the CD release concert for Extended Family, at Le Poisson Rouge. January 14, 2011.
In his NY Times review of Cutting Edge Concerts, Steve Smith says: "One more piece not listed in the program deserves mention: Neil Rolnick's brief and witty 'Phones Off' preceeded the concert with a babble of cellphone tones, intended to prevent the same from happening during the concert. It worked." April 6, 2010.
Kraig Lamper says The Economic Engine "presents a wondrous atmosphere that leaves the listener in a liminal space between two cultures" in his review of the CD in the American Record Guide. March/April 2010.
Priscilla McLean calls Extended Family "one of Rolnick's best works" in her review of his concert at EMPAC. Albany Times Union, February 18, 2010.
The Economic Engine CD is on the NY Times' classical critics' list of "records of the year for 2009." November 27, 2009
Startling Moniker cites "Rolnick's absolute ability to command my stereo for days at a time" on the site's selection of The Economic Engine CD on its top-12-best-happy-neat-o-list-of-2009.
Anne Midgette says "Rolnick's music is a vivid and vigorous hybrid of idioms ... [but] None of those labels quite encapsulates the solid vitality of the whole." Concert review in The Washington Post, October 6, 2009
Allan Kozinn's review of The Economic Engine CD cites Rolnick as "a prolific and inventive composer of electronic music ... revisiting the joys of acoustic instruments." In the NY Times Sunday Arts & Leisure Section, May 15, 2009.
Harry Rolnick's (no relation) review of the US premiere of Economic Engine says the piece "actually turned the synthesis of Chinese and European instruments into a thing of wonderment and, above all, joy." www.concertonet.com September 14, 2008
Gerladine Freedman's review compared Rolnick's Love Songs to "the best of Leonard Bernstein ... a lot of color, snap, crackle and pop and not a little jazz inflection." Daily Gazette, Schenectady NY February 15, 2008.
Clarence Fanto also wrote a preview feature for the Valentines Day premiere of Love Songs with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. The Berkshire Eagle, February 14, 2008.
Anthony Tommasini was "riveted" by Vicky Chow's performance of Digits. "... an exhilarating interactive piece." Read his review in the New York Times Weekend Arts Section, April 13, 2007.
In Steve Smith's review of the Digits CD in the Nov 9 issue of Time Out New York, he cites the title track as "one of the most effective items" in pianist Kathleen Supové's repertoire.
Allan Kozinn praises Rolnick's "manipulation of timbre and gesture" in his review of the Digits CD in the NY Times Sunday Arts & Leisure Section, Sept 17.
"[Rolnick's] acute intelligence and engaging personality appear to be the true unifying forces in his work, rather than any pet theories or kitschy trademarks ... and this keeps his music fresh, interesting, and vital, if not safe, predictable, or easy to pigeonhole." from Blair Sanderson's review of the Digits CD on the AllMusic website.
"You would never find these tuneful sonorities in a Boulez sonata. ... but this 11-minute tour de force won't leave you with a hangover." From Randy Nordschow's July review of Rolnick's Digits CD in the New Music Box.
Joseph Dalton calls Rolnick's Digits CD "... substantial and worthy of repeated listening," in his 2006 review in the Albany Times Union.
"The crowd-pleaser of the evening was Neil Rolnick's iFiddle Concerto, played by the amazing Todd Reynolds." from Jerry Bowles' review of the iFiddle Concerto's premiere. Here are links to a radio interview by John Schaefer, a cyber interview by Joel Chadabe, and an essay by Frank Oteri. As well as a recording from the premiere performance. There was also a blog for the Philadelphia performance, where UPenn students left their reactions to the piece.
The Wire magazine's September 2005 issue calls Shadow Quartet "highly original and poignant" in their review of the CD.
"... extremely approachable yet at the same time, it makes you rethink what you're hearing, which is somehow the best of both worlds," from Frank J. Oteri's review of the Shadow Quartet CD in the August 2005 NewMusicBox.
Ken Smith's 2005 Gramophone review of the Shadow Quartet CD. "Visceral, sophisticated, electro-acoustic collection with a sense of humor"
Gail Wein's 2005 Washington Post review of a performance of Shadow Quartet by Ethel at the Kennedy Center
Blair Sanderson's 2005 review of the Shadow Quartet CD in the on-line zine All Music
Another 2005 review of the Shadow Quartet CD in the German on-line zine Phosphor
Greg Sandow's 2003 review of Fish Love That's initial CD and their performance at the CD release party in Brooklyn.
Allan Kozinn's 1998 New York Times Review of a performance by Fish Love That
Steve Barnes' 1997 [Albany] Times Union review of Rico Songs & Interludes, performed by the Albany Symphony's Dogs of Desire and the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Ensemble.
Kyle Gann's 1997 Village Voice review of the Requiem Songs CD.