English Biography
 
Irène Zandel

Avan Yu, piano


One of Canada’s most compelling young pianists, critics have praised Avan Yu for his “glittering virtuosity” (West Australian) and his “astonishing sensitivity” (La Presse). He has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia and at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philharmonie in Berlin, Salle Cortot in Paris, and Sydney Opera House.

As a sought-after guest soloist with orchestras around the world, he has performed over twenty-five different piano concertos with orchestras such as the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Sydney Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Dresden Philharmonic, collaborating with conductors and musicians such as Pinchas Zukerman, Rafael Fruehbeck de Burgos, Bramwell Tovey, Christian Arming, Juanjo Mena, Yo-Yo Ma, and Johannes Moser.

Yu first achieved international recognition when he triumphed at the Sydney International Piano Competition, winning First Prize along with nine special awards. At age 17, he was the youngest competitor ever to win the Canadian Chopin Competition. He has also won the Silver Medal and Audience Prize at the Santander International Piano Competition.

His teachers include Horacio Gutierrez, Klaus Hellwig, Kenneth Broadway, Ralph Markham, and Kut Kau Sum. He has obtained Diplom and Konzertexamen degrees at the Berlin University of the Arts in Germany and is currently a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts at the Manhattan School of Music. While in Germany, he performed at festivals such as Rheingau Musik Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, Kissinger Sommer, and Ruhr Klavierfestival, and for the President and the Bundestag President of Germany.

He has received generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Vancouver Women’s Musical Society, and The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation.

His recording of Liszt's piano transcriptions of Schubert's Winterreise and Schwanengesang, released by Naxos, won glowing reviews from critics at Gramophone Magazine, American Record Guide, and Fono Forum.

Besides playing the piano, Avan has also written for the National Post. He loves studying languages and in his spare time enjoys experimenting in the kitchen. He now resides in New York City.

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