by Cait Winston
The July 22 installment of the Second Round of the Cleveland International Piano Competition began with Ziyu Liu’s (22, China) performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in c, Op. 48, No. 1. Liu’s pace was measured and unhurried, bringing out the piano’s rich tones and highlighting rhythmic intricacies. This stately tempo lent itself to carefully curated phrases in which each note was considered before it was played, giving the piece intention and polish.
Liu’s playing never lost its composure through the highly dramatic material of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 in c — he maintained a consistent tempo through the swift passages, playing them with excitement and grace. Liu demonstrated impressive virtuosity during the extended trills, creating a light, delicate sound — a tremendous technical feat. [Read more…]