Thanks to television which offered us the opportunity to follow the semifinals and the final of the last (edition) of the International Piano Contest of Santander, which took place last August, we had the opportunity to get to know and admire a very young Canadian pianist of Chinese origin, who would end up by conquering the heart of the public and receive the second prize of this contest which is considered among the most important in the world.
We are talking about Avan Yu, a small young man with a truly exceptional pianistic talent whose marvellous technique immediately draws our attention. Although on further listening we discovered that he possesses also a wonderful (marvellous) imagination which allows him to perform with total clarity the profile of composers as different as Schumann and Ravel, or Mozart and Liszt.
On Saturday in the Conservatory he brought the audience to its feet after his excellent rendition of Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody number 12 which closed the programme to which we must add two études of Chopin, impeccable. Before he had offered a truly enlightening rendition of Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit which allowed us better to appreciate the qualities of this pianist: virtuosity of high quality, refinement and good taste and a feeling for form.
And that after a first part in which he offered an exquisite and vocal Mozart in the Rondo in La minor...and a version of the Fantasia op.17 of Schumann. In any case and in addition to certifying that this young man is a prestigious pianist, one thing remained clear: that the stale topic which contends that Asian pianists are excessively calculating and not very warm absolutely does not apply to Avan Yu, a sensitive artist from his feet to the top of his head.