The jurors of the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition had a key attribute that a potential winner of the contest had to display. This was a unique, talented musical voice that complimented, rather than overshadowed the music. This was one of the many factors that differentiated Eric Lu,20 and Boston native, from the many contestants that participated in the competition.
Eric Lu started playing the piano at the age of six with Dorothy Shi. He was a student of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School in Boston and studied the piano with Alexander Korsantia and A.Ramon Rivera. He continued his education in 2013 at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he is still enrolled under the tutelage of Robert McDonald.
Eric won his first tournament in 2010 when he emerged in First place at the XII Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists (Germany). He also won the Minnesota International e-Piano Junior Competition in 2013. He slowly began earning his reputation on the world stage when he won a prize at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw at the age of 17. He also won the US National Chopin Competition in 2015.
Eric had always had a love for interpreting Chopin’s works and by seventeen, he was already performing in some of the biggest stages in the world. From South Korea, China, Spain and even Poland, Eric Lu was on the cards for most concerts, Chopin festivals, and musical festivals. He also worked with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world like the Warsaw Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, and the Orquestra Clasica Santa Cecelia.
Winning the Leeds
The 19th Leeds piano competition was founded 55 years ago and has since been known as one of the biggest piano events in the world. It is also known for launching talents like Mitsuko Uchida, Murray Perahia, and Radu Lupu into the world stage. Right from the beginning of the programme, Eric distinguished himself with virtuoso performances that showed clarity of interpretation and boldness that is reminiscent of the masters.
The competition was viewed by over 500,000 people online via live streaming on Medici.tv. The judges awarded points based on musicianship, skill, talent, poise, the degree of difficulty and other factors. Eric Lu showed flawless technique without any sign of panic, masterly focus, and stillness that belies his age. In summary, he captured the entire audience in time during his performances.
Eric Lu, as a winner of the Leeds, will now go on to have one of the busiest times of his life with a hectic schedule of performances and recording of his next album. He is no doubt one of the foremost and most highly-rated piano prospects to look out for.
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