Riveting. That is the word for Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva's performance in Sydney last week. Not showy, not flamboyant, but so persuasive that she captured her audience from the moment she began playing.
In Sydney last Monday a lot of the audience had autumn sniffles but there was not a movement or a cough during Avdeeva's entire performance, such was the entrancement. Avdeeva won the International Chopin competition in Warsaw in 2010, the second woman to win this coverted prizde (Martha Argerich was the first) and has built a solo career since then. I had the feeliing that she played exactly as the composer would have played. The last time I had that sensation was listening to Sebastian Knauer playing his Wilhelm Kempf tribute and it is a sensation one doesn't forget..
Avdeeva played Chopin then Liszt, in an intelligently curated program, with one piece melding into the next where that was fruitful. I could have listened to her all night.