In the perfect acoustic of St Bernard’s Church, Yu performed an extremely challenging and thoughtfully balanced programme with brilliance and exuberance. The atmosphere was electric, and for those fortunate enough to attend, they witnessed an unforgettable performance. The audience was left in no doubt as to why at only 27 years of age, Yu has been the recipient of so many prestigious awards.
Yu introduced each item with fascinating background information and this added to the understanding of the music for the audience. From the opening theme of Mozart’s Sonata in B flat Major K 333, Yu’s brilliant technique and insightful interpretation were evident. The phrases were beautifully sculptured and every nuance in the music observed.
Scriabin’s Sonata Fantasy in G sharp minor Op 19 and Ravel’s La Valse poeme choreographique completed the first half of the concert. Both are from the early 20th century and make huge technical and emotional demands on the performer. Yu was more than up to the task and his extreme virtuosity came to the fore in the climax of La Valse.
Carnival op 9 by Robert Schumann was the major work of the concert. Yu shared his excellent knowledge of the work with the audience and this certainly enhanced their appreciation. The 21 short pieces were performed with great imagination and sensitivity and the increasing technical and emotional demands were effortlessly met.
Avan Yu’s performance on Sunday was marked by sheer brilliance and superb interpretation. After a standing ovation, the audience received an encore of an improvisation on the well-loved song from the Wizard of Oz, Over the Rainbow. This thoughtful and very moving piece concluded the concert.
Following the concert there was a Q&A session for the audience in which Yu answered a variety of questions about his life in music. These sessions are new this year for the South Coast Music Society and are a great opportunity to get to know our performers and a little about their backgrounds.
Music lovers of Batemans Bay and surrounding areas are most fortunate in having artists the calibre of Avan Yu presenting concerts for us. This was Yu’s second visit, the first being after winning the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2012. I do hope we see him again in the not too distant future.