Its opening set out a chill aural landscape, with Bray’s attention to effects – tremolando, pizzicato and wood of bow on strings – making the ear focus on detail and the way sounds hovered in clear air. (…) Bray’s balancing of restraint with sharply rhythmic impetus had its own arresting character. (…) [T]his was a piece which stirred conscience and senses together. It will sit well in the piano quartet repertoire (…).
The Guardian, Rian Evans, 20/03/2017 on the world premiere of "Zustände"

The centrepiece was Charlotte Bray’s cello concerto, Falling in the Fire, a BBC commission world premiere with Guy Johnston as soloist. The bombing last year [2015] of ancient temples in Palmyra, Syria, was Bray’s starting point. A menacing belch of brass, dominated by trombones and tuba, launches the work with a jagged, rat-a-tat triplet fanfare out of which the solo cello emerges in lonely lament. Batterings of high woodwind, spiky and insistent, alternate with episodes of almost numb fragility. (…) Some of Bray’s delicate yet astringent chamber music was performed by the Albany Trio in a Proms Extra event. This British, Berlin-based composer, still in her early 30s, now has a growing catalogue and an assured and independent artistic voice.
The Guardian, Fiona Maddocks, 21/08/2016

Propelled by outrage at the atrocities visited upon Syria by Isis, Bray has responded with music that is defiantly exquisite as well as stark, for example, with the high-ringing tinnitus that follows a bomb explosion. Surging with energy, her colouristic writing was acutely felt by both the orchestra and brilliant soloist Guy Johnston.
The Independent, Steph Power, 16/08/2016 on the world premiere of "Falling in the Fire"

Scored for large orchestra, including a tuba and three percussion players, the work oscillates between images of a damaged outer world and a traumatised inner world. It opens with explosive force – agitated strings matched by sharp punctuation from brass and percussion – until the solo cello, played very eloquently here by Guy Johnston, emerges gradually from the aural chaos. What I found especially remarkable were the many instances of the composer’s brilliant ear for orchestration and her power to connect instantly with an audience. Three examples may suffice. After the dust settles in the opening section, the writing for wind mimics the sound of scores of frightened animals rushing headless in all directions. The repeated use of tremolando strings conveys a sense of flux and the loss of stability. And as the work draws to a close, a haunting quality is created by shimmering strings set against a sustained piccolo with an agitated cello line. Picasso was able to move millions with his representation of Guernica; modern music can give powerful expression to the anguish caused by inhumanity., Alexander Hall, 15/08/2016

She may only have been composing in earnest for a decade but Charlotte Bray (b.1982) is now at the forefront of younger British composers. … powerful concertante writing of Caught in Treetops … beginning with a tensile cadenza which duly casts its aura over the respectively capricious and meditative movements. … Oneiroi finds the composer equally at home with the solo piano medium as fleeting motifs disperse then reassemble to yield music of unexpected emotional breadth. Conversely, At the Speed of Stillness unfolds over an expansive orchestral canvas … highly diverse textures outline an expressive progression left tantalisingly in abeyance at the close.
Gramophone Magazine, Richard Whitehouse, January 2015 on her debut CD "At the Speed of Stillness"

Charlotte Bray’s powerfully expectant At the Speed of Stillness (2012), conducted by Ms. Canellakis, managed the difficult feat of evoking ceaseless motion without feeling driven: It gave a sense of pulsating in place.”
The New York Times, Zachary Woolfe, 22/07/2014

... the composer had a feeling for setting words… skilfully told in digestible, darkly dappled, sometimes waltz-inflected music…
The Times, Geoff Brown, 07/08/2012 on "Making Arrangements"

… all the important Bs: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Britten, plus another: Charlotte Bray.
… Bray’s ten-minute dazzler for piano, violin, viola and cello. … my ears were busy with interlocked yearning phrases or rhythmic patterns both stabbing and chunky – material presented, inspected, the reconfigured with a bright imagination and, even better, a keen urge to communicate. It was all vivid and exhilarating…

The Times, Geoff Brown, 04/07/2011 on "Replay"