Young Canadian Superstar to Take on Over 100 years of Russian Music with 88 Keys!

By Kingston Accommodation Partners

The Kingston Symphony welcomes 27-year-old pianist Avan Yu for an all-Russian program next Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. at the Grand Theatre. Mr. Yu will be performing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which he first debuted with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) at the age of 14. This debut led to his role as the featured soloist for the VSO’s national tour of Canada in 2009. Mr. Yu was then immediately re-engaged by Music Director Bramwell Tovey to perform the same work for a gala summer concert before an audience of 8,000 people.

The afternoon’s concert will also include Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, Tchaikovsky’s magnificent Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique), and will mark the return of SoundSync, which debuted last October to rave reviews.

Hailed as one of the top innovations in 2013 by CBC, SoundSync is a program that delivers short bits of information directly to audience members’ smartphones as the concert is happening. Its exclusive digital media content takes audience members beyond the music onstage by providing concert program notes, a musical glossary and information about the orchestra. Slides automatically advance with the music on a mobile device’s screen during a concert, providing key highlights and engaging details relating to the composition. As critical or notable parts of the music are played, the pops up notes that might explain anything from the historical significance of a movement to the subtle reprisal of a melody you should be listening for.

A critical feature of SoundSync is that it has been developed to have minimal impact on concertgoers in the hall. The application is designed with white text on a black background specifically to minimize light and disruption. The content is custom designed for each piece to optimize the experience of hearing the work without distraction.

About the Soloist

One of Canada’s most exciting young pianists, Avan Yu achieved international recognition when he triumphed at the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2012, winning First Prize along with nine special awards. Hailed as a “pianistic force with an astonishing sensitivity far beyond his years”, Mr. Yu has appeared as soloist with orchestras and conductors around the world, including Rafael Fruehbeck de Burgos and the Dresden Philharmonic, Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, and Christian Arming and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Yu has won a number of prizes including Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, and the XVI Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition. In July 2012, he won the 10th Sydney International Piano Competition.
Yu has won a number of prizes including Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, and the XVI Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition. In July 2012, he won the 10th Sydney International Piano Competition. Photo Credit: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Born in Hong Kong, Mr. Yu moved at the age of nine to Vancouver with his family. He studied with Kenneth Broadway and Ralph Markham in Vancouver, before moving to Berlin to study with Klaus Hellwig at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Mr. Yu won the Gold Medal at the Canadian Chopin Competition at the age of 17, and the Silver Medal and People’s Choice Award at the Santander International Piano Competition in 2008. His performances have been broadcast on WQXR Radio in New York, Bayerischer Rundfunk, the CBC, Radio Nacional de España, and the Südwestrundfunk. He has just recorded a CD of Liszt/Schubert Transcriptions for NAXOS which will be released in April 2015.

Tickets

The Kingston Symphony presents ‘Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky’ on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. at the Grand Theatre. Tickets range in price from $10 to $50 and are available at the Grand Theatre Box Office, 218 Princess Street, by phone at 613-530-2050 or online at www.kingstonsymphony.on.ca.