Music lovers take note! Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Avan Yu are set to perform Virtuoso – an unmissable concert event at Chatswood’s The Concourse this November.

World renowned, multi-award-winning Canadian pianist Avan Yu will lead the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra (WSO) for two concerts this November. Held in the beautiful Concert Hall at the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood, Virtuoso promises a glorious classical music experience.

Avan Yu became an international name on the classical music scene after winning first prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2012, and says that Australia holds a special place in his heart.

“What draws me back to Australia year after year is the incredible warmth of the Australian people and the incredible land,” he says. “I have made many friends in Australia since winning the competition in 2012, and coming back to Australia feels a bit like coming home.”

Avan Yu

Avan is very excited about bringing the Virtuoso performances to the stage with WSO this month and will be performing some much beloved pieces including Mendelssohn’s overture The Hebrides, Mozart’s Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466 and Beethoven’s Concerto No.1 in C major, op.15.

When asked why these pieces of music were chosen for this performance, Avan says that these are some particularly exciting compositions from the Romantic Period.

“Mozart rarely writes music in the minor key and, in fact, this is only one of two piano concertos (out of 27) by Mozart that is in minor! The stormy and dramatic nature of this concerto reminds us more of what we might associate with the music of Beethoven. Conversely, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in C major, Op.15 reminds us more of the ebullience found in many of Mozart’s works.” 

“The Hebrides Overture of Mendelssohn is exemplary of the ideals of the Romantic period… and offers an exploration of the relationship between human and nature which is a central theme in the Romantic Period,” Avan adds.

Avan’s role of leading the orchestra for these concerts is also a crucial element of the music itself.

“What is really special about this program is that we are presenting the music in a way that would have closely resembled the way music was performed during the time of Mozart and Beethoven.”

“Back when these concertos were written, the pianist assumed both the roles of the leader of the ensemble and the soloist. Concerto). In this program, I will be leading the ensemble from the piano, which will feel more like a chamber music experience.”

This more intimate style of performance promises to offer the audience a unique and highly engaging performance filled with verve and virtuosity.

The famed Willoughby Symphony Orchestra

When asked if he has a favourite piece of music to perform Avan admits that he cannot choose.

“Pianists are fortunate in that we have by far more music to play than any other instrumentalists. Therefore, my favourite pieces to play are simply the music that I am performing in each season!”

Avan also encourages everyone, young and old, to get out of the house and experience the wonder that is a live classical music performance.

“Streaming music online is never the same experience as attending a live performance in person. The communal listening experience in the superb acoustics of a concert hall is something that you cannot replicate at home.”

Tickets are on sale now, and both performances will also offer a pre-concert talk by the 2MBS Fine Music Sydney presenters to help you get the most out of the concert.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the WSO website.

Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s Virtuoso
When:  Saturday, 25 November 2023, 7pm and Sunday, 26 November 2023, 2pm
Where: The Concourse Concert Hall, The Concourse, 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Ticket Prices: Adult $57, Concession $52, Youth (16-26yrs) $26, Child (5-16yrs) $15.30 


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