Leeds International Piano Competition winner to make Harrogate debut weeks before inaugural Proms performance

 
Photo: © Allan McKenzie

Photo: © Allan McKenzie

 

Eric Lu – whose virtuoso performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Hallé secured him first place at Leeds International Piano Competition - is taking to the Harrogate International Festivals’ stage at the Old Swan Hotel, on Thursday, June 20.

 

The 21-year-old American – who has also been chosen as one of seven BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists for 2019-2021 – first came to international attention as a prize winner at the 2015 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw. This was followed by winning the 2017 International German Piano Award and the US National Chopin Competition.

 

And, such is his rising reputation amongst classical music aficionados, September will see him making his Proms debut at The Royal Albert Hall. This performance will be subsequently broadcasted the following day on BBC Radio 4.

 

Of his Leeds International Piano Competition win, Adam Gatehouse, its artistic director and judging panel members, said:

“For all of us on the jury in 2018 it was obvious from the moment we heard Eric Lu first play, during the First Round of the Competition in New York, that here was a musician and artist of exceptional depth, maturity and subtlety. 

“And this was borne out every time he played in the subsequent rounds in Leeds - whether it was Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Dvorak or Beethoven (as in the Finals) he brought to everything he touched a profundity, a thoughtfulness without hint of show, and an inwardness that held the breath. He is a true artist.”

 

Coming back to his Harrogate International Festivals’ date, Eric’s spa town audience will be treated to a solo performance that includes Schumann’s Ghost Variations, Brahms’ Intermezzo No 1, Op 117, and Chopin’s Piano Sonata No2.

 

When asked what he hoped his Harrogate audience would leave with after experiencing his concert, Eric said:

“I hope that they will leave with a better understanding of these great composers that will be on the program than they came in with.

“Music is an intensely personal thing, so it can relate to each individual so uniquely. This is what makes it so wonderful and I hope to bring a glimpse of the world of these composers to the audience in Harrogate.”

 

Charlotte Woods, Harrogate International Festival’s Music & Education Manager, said:

“We have a reputation for bringing the stars of the future to Harrogate, and Eric fits beautifully into this category.

“He is a wonderfully gifted pianist with a talent and flair that resonates with a host of different audiences. His youth is also appealing to new and younger audiences, which is music to our ears.

“Following on from his stunning performances last September at Leeds, Eric has been in constant demand from venues across the world. And, because we didn’t want to miss out on the chance of having Eric joining this year’s list of artists, we took the decision to work our diary around his.

“As a result, we will be in the gifted position of seeing and hearing him before he heads to London to make his Proms debut.”

 

Eric Lu’s Piano Recital is being held in the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, at ,7.30pm on Thursday, June 20.

 

Tickets, priced from £19, are available from the box office, online and on the door. The full programme is:

 

PROGRAMME:

Schumann: Ghost Variations

Brahms: Intermezzo No.1, Op.117

Schubert: Piano Sonata D784

Handel: Chaconne HWV 435

Chopin: Piano Sonata No.2

 

Further details about Harrogate International Festivals is available from its website at https://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/

David Taylor