Canadian pianist Avan Yu is beginning a tour of Australia starting from 30 June, when he plays at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He plays for almost a month here with a few Auckland performances thrown in, keeping him busy while Down Under. Yu came to prominence when he became the youngest person to win the Canadian Chopin Competition at the age of 17. He then went on to win the Silver Medal and Audience Prize at the Santander International Piano Competition. His return to Australia to perform will please classical music lovers, he chatted to me briefly about his tour.


Joy – Since winning the 2012 Sydney International Piano Competition, you’ve been back to Australia a few times. What do you love the most about coming back to Australia?

Avan – For me, the thing I love the most about coming back to Australia is being able to see all the dear friends I have met during the competition and subsequent visits. Some of these friends are like family to me now. Australians are some of the kindest and friendliest people I know, and it is always a pleasure to be in their company. I also enjoy the fact that I can rely on the quality of the coffee wherever I go!


Joy – Of all of the concert halls throughout the world, where is it your dream to play? 

Avan – I have been fortunate to have the chance to perform in some of the most prestigious venues around the world: Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Berlin Philharmonie. The hall in which I have always dreamed of performing is the Musikverein in Vienna.


Joy – Will you get a chance to see much of Australia this time you’re here? If so, where are you planning to go?

Avan – I will be going to Sydney, Melbourne, Orange, Healesville and Canberra on this visit. I have been to all of these places before but am looking forward to discovering each place more in depth.


Joy – How do you unwind after a performance? 

Avan – I usually go for a cold drink afterwards. As I don’t like to eat a full meal before a concert, I usually grab something to eat after a performance.


Joy – What is next for you?

Avan – I just finished a recording project in Italy, after which I spent a few lovely days in Venice. Now I am in Vancouver and will be heading to Japan for a week before coming to Sydney. In between the concerts in Sydney and Melbourne, I will head to Auckland for the Wallace International Piano Festival to give a recital and some masterclasses.

A big thank-you to Avan, for more information and tickets, see: 


This Month in Sydney

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Did you miss out on the Japanese Film Festival (JFF), or simply love Japanese cinema? Enjoy Japanese films on the big screen with new JFF Fringe special screenings!

Featuring box office hits from the past year, JFF Fringe is a series of monthly Japanese film screenings, which runs from May to August. This season presents award-winning titles such as ‘In This Corner of the World’ and ‘The Long Excuse’, explosive action-comedy in ‘Gintama’, and the Australian premiere of fantasy period film ‘Honnouji Hotel’.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the participating cinema’s box office. Online booking fees may apply. All films are in Japanese with English subtitles.