Of his concert with the Merck Philharmonic Orchestra under Ben Palmer (Elgar Cello Concerto):
The solo part, which was lyrical and highly expressive, seemed a perfect match with cellist Maximilian Hornung. Technically sophisticated to the last detail, his performance achieved a brilliance that was emotionally roughened, as if the nerve fibers of the music were painfully exposed. With the orchestra, which picked up on every impulse of the soloist, he seemed close connected.
Wiesbadener Kurier, Silvia Adler, 08/05/2018
The spontaneous chamber music spirit of Beethoven’s (…) Triple Concerto, transplanted into a symphonic context, is rarely so persuasively presented. This energy stems from the cello; Maximilian Hornung’s emotional palette ranges from a gentle tickling of the strings to passionate, fierce yet never sentimental outbursts. Weithaas knows how to react to this sensitively; Fellner, in turn, uses it as the groundwork for his own increasing involvement, later reflecting the cello’s contribution back at itself.
Tagesspiegel, Carsten Niemann, 22/11/2017
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra debut of cellist Maximilian Hornung on Friday night added another element of surprise to Strauss’ work [‘Don Quixote’]: His performance seemed to take stock of all this textured material and rise above it all, producing a breath with each statement. (...) Mr. Hornung’s clear-eyed interpretation capably sifted through Strauss’ dense musical material, his tone direct yet warm. Like an able guide navigating through an undiscovered forest, he commanded the pace of the work during solo passages while maintaining communication with other musicians.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Elizabeth Bloom, 20/05/2017
He played Camille Saint-Saëns‘ Cello Concerto No. 1 with dramatic verve, slender elegance and fragile sentiment.
Abendzeitung, Robert Braunmüller, 30/04/2016
The highlight [of Brahms‘ Double Concerto] was the central Andante in which Lisa Batiashvili and Maximilian Hornung were perfect partners, their phrases melted into one another, enhanced by the evenness with which the solo lines flowed in and out of the orchestral sequences.
Classical Source, Antony Hodgson, 03/02/2016
Lisa Batiashvili and Maximilian Hornung were well-matched conversationalists, communicating via smiles and keen eye contact. Sweet-toned rather than opulent, unafraid to dip into a sinewy timbre for the first movement’s tempestuous close, their sounds were well matched too. The playing in the central Andante was radiant (…).
bachtrack.com, Mark Pullinger, 03/02/2016
... a lustre as if from star dust settles over the 29 year-old and the orchestra. Maybe it is because Maximilian Hornung brings human emotions out of his cello. His instrument speaks, rejoices, laments, rhapsodises and gets excited, and one listens to it with empathy as if a close friend were talking. Hornung plays freely, splendidly articulated. And he does it so effortlessly that one could succumb to the illusion that the variety of sentiments comes naturally to him in that moment.
Der Bund, Marianne Mühlemann, 06/12/2015
Yes, Hornung is confident in what he does. And he is in a position to shape his playing. His virtuosity and technique are not an end in themselves. In fact he consciously adds his own colours and expression to the musical dialogue with Mutter. Mutter and Hornung play and co-ordinate closely together.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Rita Argauer, 15/11/2015
Though still young, cellist Maximilian Hornung and pianist Benjamin Engeli play together as seasoned veterans (…). (…) As the concert progressed, what impressed me was the sheer range of [Hornung’s] technique and tone colour, and his intelligence. (…) Young as they are, these artists already have mature and individual perspectives on these works, never short of interesting ideas. (…) Maximilian Hornung can do so many things well – an enviable mix of technical address, tonal sophistication, and intelligence – and it is not surprising how high a reputation he has already.
Vancouver Classical Music, Geoffrey Newman, September 2015
His octaves and arpeggios have an almost unearthly clarity to them, the volume of his sound is powerful, his cantilenas are endlessly smooth. He carries the orchestra with him before he has even played his first note.
Die Rheinpfalz, Markus Pacher, 05/05/2015
On Cello Concertos (Sony Classical)
The sound of Maximilian Hornung’s cello is scintillating, bold, clear and intensive. His playing is powerful, purposeful and gripping and this recording therefore offers a brilliant opportunity to get to grips with Hornung’s ambitious, outstanding cello playing.
klassik.com, Marion Beyer, 14.03.2015
Soloist and orchestra blend perfectly with one another – one can hear the fun they had.
Kulturradio vom rbb, Cornelia de Reese, 02.02.2015
Every detail is sharply focused on this CD without hardening the contours. Everything sounds airy, smooth, frothy and light.
NDR Kultur, Helmut Peters, 30.01.2015
His Haydn is youthful, energetic, powerful. Hornung plays as though he wishes to say: forget the “Papa Haydn” and “family friend” clichés! Here is a portrait of the composer as a young man.
BR Klassik, Bernhard Neuhoff, 22.01.2015
[Britten’s Suite No. 1] was performed brilliantly by the young cellist Maximilian Hornung: he mastered every detail of the Fugue and the varied and repeated Canto with a slender sound. And he succeeded in the Finale with breathtaking clarity. One suspected it for a long time – but now there is a certainty there: this man has what it takes to be world-class.
Abendzeitung München, Robert Braunmüller, 24/12/2014
The only person onstage who spurred Ms. Mutter on, rather than merely keeping up, was the cellist Maximilian Hornung, intense and alive in their interwoven moments and rich-toned in his solos. Their robust interplay was also a highlight of the exuberant performance of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”
The New York Times, Zachary Woolfe, 19/11/2014 – on his concert at Carnegie Hall as part of the 'Mutter's Virtuosi' USA and Canada tour
Maximilian Hornung has rightly won his laurels – he is simply a brilliant musician whose CD showcases a marvellous sound and huge enjoyment of the music.
Kulturradio rbb, Anja Herzog, 13/08/2014 – on his Strauss CD
The young German cellist Maximilian Hornung as Don Quixote is, in his own personal way, just as expressive and beautiful in tone [as Rostropovich].
DrehPunktKultur, Horst Reischenböck, 10/08/2014 – on his debut at the Salzburg Festival with the Philharmonia Orchestra London under Esa-Pekka Salonen
The cellist Maximilian Hornung is a revelation as the soloist of the evening.
Frankfurter Neue Presse, 10/02/2014
Hornung champions Dvořák with an intensity which reveals heart and sentiment. With Saint-Saëns’ Suite and the Romance as grand finale, this CD features wonderful music, which Hornung enjoys to the full.
Fono Forum, March 2012
Hornung kept the music moving forward and produced a winning performance in every respect.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 22/02/2011
He controls his cello's tone, forming it with the utmost devotion but not watching over it too carefully. His genuine musicality consistently leads him in the right direction.
Die ZEIT, 13/01/2011