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The pianist Bruce Liu – Music box, the 31st of January, 2022

Monday, 7 February 2022 , ora 11.09

An album released under the name of the Deutsche Grammophon record label on the 19th of November, 2021: it is the debut album of the pianist Bruce Liu, winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, the 2021 edition. There is a cooperation protocol between this famous piano competition, among the most important in the world, and the Deutsche Grammophon record label: the recordings made by the winner of the competition during the contest are immediately edited for a disc format - these exact recordings are present on the album released on the 19th of November, 2021.

Who is Bruce Liu? The Canadian pianist, born in 1997, who at 21 years-old won the 1st place in the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. A notable performance, that places him amongst other famous pianists on a list that includes Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, KrystianZimerman, Rafal Blechacz and Seong Jin Cho.

Bruce Liu, born in Paris to Chinese parents, started learning how to play the piano when he was 8, and is currently studying at theUniversity of Montreal. He won many awards and played along European and American orchestras in concerts, but, without a doubt, his greatest achievement so far is winning the 1st place in the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. In the autumn of 2021, he was the favorite of both the public and the jury, the only contestant among the almost 90 who was unanimously selected by the jury for promotion in the next stages of the competition, in each stage - 3 in total.

The International Chopin Piano Competition is one of the most important in the world: it is held once every 5 years, with a history that began in 1927, and was interrupted only by World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic: the 18th edition was supposed to take place in 2020, but it took place one year later, between the 2nd and the 23rd of October, 2021. We could say that it was an edition dominated by Bruce Liu, the favorite of the public and the jury. The British magazin Gramophone wrote in December 2021 about the album of recording made by Bruce Liu during the competition: "Forget about the Chopin Competition and just listen to it as one of the most outstanding Chopin recitals in recent years, full of maturity, character and purpose."

Without a doubt, Bruce Liu is a valuable and very talented pianist; this album's recordings reveal his interest for details and an attentive polishing of sounds. But I would say that he's slightly too predictable in his musical choices and, for now, he doesn't have that ability to keep you holding your breath even when you're listening to a recording, but he did succeed in doing that during his live recitals. He is still very young, so yes, we're looking forward to a new reference name on the big international stage, to prove that he deserved everyone's trust when he won such an important prize as the one in the International Chopin Piano Competition.

Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Cristina-Bianca Ion,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu