This past Thursday April 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm internationally renowned pianist, Eric Lu performed at Memorial Chapel as one of the featured performers taking part in the annual Union College Concert Series. Despite last minute re-scheduling due to Lu’s overbooked tour itinerary, students and community members alike eagerly attended Lu’s performance; the venue was filled to the brim. Deemed one of the most promising pianist of the young generation, Lu’s reputation as a proficient classical pianist began at age six under piano teacher Dorothy Shi before moving on to focus on to more formal training at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and later the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Throughout the duration of his short career, Lu has competed and won a variety of exclusive piano competitions across the globe from the U.S. to Germany. At just 17 years-old, Lu won the 2015 United States National Chopin Competition in Miami and was recently awarded the 2017 International German Piano Award in Frankfurt. Having performed in famous venues across the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Beijing Concert Hall, Beijing Concert Hall and Strathmore Music Center, Union was lucky enough to get the pianist to make a pit stop at Memorial Chapel where Lu performed compositions featuring the work of iconic musicians from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Franz Schubert. Lu opened the performance with a beautiful rendition of Mozart’s Sonata in D Major, K. 311.
The first movement, Allegro con spirito had a light air to it, each note bouncing melodically throughout the chapel and eventually speeding up into a whirlwind of soothing grandeur and then moving into a steady but pretty second movement, Andante con espressione before eventually slowly slipping back into a soft and simple conclusion in Rondeau: Allegro, the third and final movement of the piece. Following enthusiastic applause and cheers from the audience, Lu then performed Franz Schubert’s Impromptu No. 1 in C Minor, D. 899. This piece was a nice contrast to the opening number, featuring a heavy and solemnly dramatic collection of low notes before thundering into a loud and intense exposition sprinkled with dramatic changes in the volume and tempo before ending on a literal low note.
Moving into another meaty composition, Lu played Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7, Op. 83 which featured a dynamic combination of delicacy and heaviness, serving as the perfect fuse of the previous two compositions while also being a good segway into the brief intermission. Closing the performance, Lu played through Frédéric Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28.
Approximately close to 50 minutes long, the piece took the audience on a diverse musical epic of short and sweet arpeggiated chords, harmonically dense bass lines and thundering trills and scales. Arguably one of the most dynamic pieces featured in the entire two-hour concert and definitely a piece that demands stamina and flexibility, Lu exuded a passion and energy so natural that each transition was fluid, keeping the audience on edge with each new measure and key change. It was truly a fantastic display of some of the most revolutionary composers in musical history as well as a phenomenal performance given by one of the most prodigious musicians of