Eric Lu, the 21-year-old Chinese-American pianist who won the Leeds International Piano Competition last year, has signed an exclusive contact with Warner Classics.
His first release under the new contract will be a recital of Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Schumann’s ‘Ghost’ Variations and Brahms’ Intermezzo No. 1. This will be his second album for the label, following the release of his performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, recorded live at The Leeds with the Hallé and Edward Gardner.
“It’s a great honour to record for Warner Classics – a label with a back catalogue of legendary recordings, many of which were part of my own musical upbringing,” says Eric. “The Warner team were incredibly supportive following the Leeds Competition, and I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter in our relationship with repertoire that’s close to my heart”.
Patrick Lemanski, Director of Classics at Warner Music UK, says: “I went to the finals at Leeds having watched the rest of the competition online, so I was convinced that Eric Lu was a pianist of high artistic integrity. When he came onto the stage with his air of determined calmness and that inner smile, I knew something even more intense was about to take place.
“The way he played Beethoven’s 4th Concerto was so evidently moving that I knew his performance was not just about technique and virtuosity: I was in the presence of a new magician of the keyboard. It is with immense joy and pride that we welcome Eric to our Warner family of artists and we look forward to many projects to come.”
In September 2019, Eric joins BBC Radio 3’s prestigious New Generation Artists scheme, and this weekend, will make his BBC Proms debut, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Long Yu, in the final concert of the ensemble’s 140th anniversary world tour. The performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and on BBC FOUR on 6 September.
Looking further ahead, Eric’s 2019/20 season includes debuts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony and St Petersburg Philharmonic, a UK tour with the Orchestre National de Lille, and recitals at the Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Wigmore Hall (London), BOZAR (Brussels), Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Philharmonie Luxembourg and Gewandhaus Leipzig.