Updated: Dec 6, 2020
September 19, 2019 Olten Switzerland
The almost 13-year-old Leia Zhu performed with the Festival Strings Lucerne in the Olten concert hall. The young musician inspires the audience.
A schoolgirl in an overly long, red evening dress climbs the stage in the concert hall and smiles a little shyly: At first glance, Leia Zhu corresponds to the cliché we have of child prodigies. But then she starts the violin in front of a nearly sold out house and suddenly we no longer see a child's face, but the serious face of an adult artist. With verve and full of energy, she sets the tempo for the chamber orchestra and the excellent musicians of the Festival Strings Lucerne like to follow the dictation of the little virtuoso in the rhythmically strongly accented "Havanaise" in E major, op. 83 by the French Camille Saint-Saëns. With a maturity and seriousness that is absolutely amazing for her age, Leia creates this demanding dance piece. The beautiful, full tone of her violin fills the concert hall; Leia plays a valuable violin made by the Venetian violin maker Michele Deconet, which a private collector has made available to her on loan. A showpiece from Paganini Immediately after the break, the likeable child star turns to what is probably the most famous of all violinists: Niccolò Paganini composed primarily to demonstrate his own virtuosity as an artist with his technically incredibly demanding works. Leia Zhu already masters some particularly demanding tone sequences in the almost romantic “Cantabile” in D major, Op. 17. “La Campanella” is considered Paganini's showpiece and is still a touchstone for string players to this day. Leia seems very confident, places the chords on top of each other in a flash and climbs dizzying heights with her instrument - she is visibly delighted with her skills. The young artist rewarded the enthusiastic audience with a standing ovation. In response to a few questions from Daniel Dodds, she tells about her everyday life between concerts and school in Newcastle, about the many homework, her younger brother Leo and the school clubs, and finally reveals that she keeps a diary and also composes small pieces of music. Leia Zhu says goodbye with a Bach encore, played bravely solo. What had one seen and heard: A gifted schoolgirl on the way to a great career.
Oltener Tagblatt Newspaper has summarised the wonderful evening of Leia’s performance with the Festival Strings Lucerne on 17 September 2019. Read the full aritical here
Aslo read here
Photo album is here