Press and Quotes
"Mike Block is my definition of the ideal musician for the 21st century. Not only is he an enormously talented cellist and a great musician, but he writes music, he improvises, and he’s fearless. Mike is wide open to all kinds of influences, and he incorporates everything he learns into his sound, making it uniquely his own. I’m always struck by his unique perspective on the world and his relaxed and confident approach; he takes on new music and new things fearlessly. Mike has the kind of talent I look for: he has the skills, the positive motivation and the creativity that will enable him to do amazing things in his musical life. It has also been a joy to watch him bring his enormous talents to the realm of education."
—Yo-Yo Ma, cellist: 16-time Grammy Award winner
"The breathless duet by his [Yo-Yo Ma’s] solo cellist Mike Block with the table player Sandeep Das … was another highlight of the evening. Half Dance, half dare, it exemplified much of the interaction between the musicians, which turns any performance into a visual spectacle.”
—New York Times review from the Carnegie Hall performance celebrating 15th Anniversary of the Silk Road Ensemble
"vital, rich-hued solo playing"
—New York Times concert review
"Cellist Mike Block makes a sensational addition to the Silk Road Ensemble. Block is the only cellist I know of who plays his instrument by strapping it over his shoulder like a guitar ... it yields very impressive results ... it rocked".
—Santa Barbara Independent
"I have never before seen a standing cello player – incredible"
—Stage and Cinema
"a true artist ... a sight to behold."
—Salt Lake City Desert News
"dazzled the audience with his energetic and humorous style."
—The Significato Journal
"Block’s energy, engagement, and dynamism, are just what the city’s ailing music scene needs."
—Bay Ridge Journal
"Mike Block’s Cello Concerto, Movement 1 (2009), in which the composer was also the soloist, had its comic moments too, mostly to do with sudden juxtapositions … This is a piece less about stylistic restlessness than about defiance."
—2009 New York Times composition review
"Middle Eastern and Indian idioms also flavored "Rhapsody on a Theme by Bach" by Mike Block, the group’s cellist. Evocative wind solos and jazzy hues were woven through the work"
—2010 New York Times composition review
"There was a pleasantly informal, spontaneous air to the proceedings, a jam session of sorts."
—2011 New York Times concert review
"Mike Block’s witty songs, entertaining cello accompaniment and delicious solos are absolutely engaging."
—Mark O’Connor, Grammy Award winner
"A virtuoso soloist and rhythm monster"
—Darol Anger, Grammy Award nominee
"This is the concert I came to New York to hear"
—Eric Edberg, Blogger
"It’s like a swell of joy at hearing the unbridled laugh of that cute girl you like. Mike’s playing has a beautiful sound, a beautiful tone, and it gives you a happy feeling without warning."
—Sue Buzzard, Blogger