A Review of Avan Yu's Carnegie debut
It is a distinct pleasure to express my enthusiasm and admiration for the young pianist Avan Yu.

He played his New York City debut recital at Carnegie Weill Hall on October 13, 2008 to a large and mesmerized audience. The concert was part of his Grand Prize winning of the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition in the spring of 2008.

Avan Yu is only 21 years old and plays with astonishing maturity. His pianistic abilities are limitless, his touch is under the control of a sensitive ear and a keen harmonic sense, and at any moment his musical choices reveal his intelligence and his care for musical concept .

His challenging program included Mozart Rondo in A minor K 511 which opened the concert. From the first note, he commanded attention. His interpretation was simple, moving and in the spirit of Mozart. Schumann Fantasy was expansive and generous, the pedaling subtile, and passion and romanticism were met with temperament. The beautiful last movement may have been lived ardently in the moment instead of reminisced, but this is the way a young person feels, and it was beautiful in that respect. A new piece by a contemporary Korean composer Unsuk Chin was played with contrasts and clarity and showed his comfort with the music of our time. Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, a work reserved for pianists of enormous technical gifts, was performed effortlessly, with imagination and rich colors. Ondine and Gibet were conveying the stories vividly and with ease, and perhaps enthusiasm carried Avan Yu away in Scarbo: though he did play all the notes faithfully... A group of Liszt works (Sonetto del Petrarca # 104, Rhapsody #12) ended his recital, where his virtuosity and musicianship were in brilliant display. Two Chopin Etudes Opus 10 were given as encores and received with great enthusiasm by an inspired audience.

Avan Yu is already part of the very few outstanding pianists of today. As a complement to his extraordinary talent, he has a compelling personality and a refreshing stage presence.
Evelyne Crochet
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