Steinway & Sons Release Shen Lu’s Label Debut Album “Watercolor” – Available August 11, 2015
Shen Lu invokes water imagery throughout these selections from his recital program blending Chinese folk music with more traditional classical fare by Ravel and Rachmaninov and ending with Tan Dun’s ode to his childhood in Hunan, Eight Memories in Watercolor
Distinguished pianist and 2014 Hilton Head International Piano Competition jurist John O’Conor, declared that gold prize winner "Shen Lu’s interpretations have great depth, his technique seems effortless, and he communicates wonderfully with his audience." Shen’s prize includes this collaboration with Steinway & Sons — a debut recording from an exceptional young artist. The Steinway & Sons label releases Shen Lu’s Watercolor on August 11, 2015.
Based on Shen’s award-winning recital program, water imagery flows throughout the album’s selections. Watercolor opens with Chen Peixun’s arrangement of a 1930’s Chinese folk song Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake (Lü Wencheng); a gentle melody driven downstream through the constant movement of broken arpeggios working in concert with rippling textures. The calmness is broken by Maurice Ravel’s masterwork Miroirs with its five movements each dedicated to a fellow member of the French avant-garde artist group, Les Apaches.
The eight pieces of Rachmaninov’s Etudes Tableaux, Op. 33, among the last pieces written in the composer-soloist tradition, are a study in musical moods — "picture studies" of the highest order, running the gamut of human expression and serving as musical evocations of external visual stimuli.
The album concludes with Hunan-born Tan Dun’s Eight Memories in Watercolor, conceived by the composer when he left Hunan to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Homesick and longing to savor the folk songs and memories of his childhood in the era of China’s burgeoning Cultural Revolution, this first solo piano work by Tan Dun presents a diary of longing and features four of his favorite childhood folk songs.
A native of Jiangsu, China, Shen Lu has performed concerts at Beijing’s Central Conservatory Music Hall, Weill Recital Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Severance Hall in Cleveland, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, The County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, the Seymour Centre in Sydney, and the National Concert Hall in Dublin. He was a prize-winner at the 59th Wideman, the 4th Campillos, the 2nd Florida, and the 25th Ferrol International Piano Competitions, and won best French music prize for Ravel’s Miroirs at the 2015 Dublin International Piano Competition. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under Wu Ying, and his Master’s and Graduate Diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston under Alexander Korsantia. Mr. Shen’s other teachers included Li Siying, Huang T