• Born 1997
The American pianist Eric Lu emerged as one of the most promising new players of his instrument in the 2010s, while still in his teens. He earned a series of prestigious competition prizes and was signed to the Warner Classics label. Lu was born in Bedford, Massachusetts, in Boston's northwestern suburbs. His parents came from China (Shanghai) and Taiwan (Kaohsiung). A local teacher, Dorothy Shi, gave him his first lessons at age six, and he then studied at the New England Conservatory's preparatory high school. He began to gain wider attention with wins at the International Fryderyk Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Moscow in 2004, and at the U.S. National Chopin Competition in Miami the following year. In 2015 he finished fourth at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw; there had been very few players who had made the prize round as teenagers, and most of those who did (including Daniil Trifonov and Krystian Zimerman) went on to top-flight careers. One of his final-round performances, of Chopin's 24 Preludes (a difficult choice in itself), was issued on an album by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. He joined other laureates on a tour of South Korea and Japan. The year 2017 brought another top prize, the International German Piano Award in Frankfurt, and the following year Lu won first prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in Britain. That propelled him to the roster of Warner Classics, which released his Leeds performances of Beethoven and Chopin in 2018; that year, he also recorded an album of late works by Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms for the German label Genuin. He appeared that year with the Hallé Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, gave solo recitals in London, Paris, and St. Petersburg, and toured South Korea solo. As of early 2019, Lu was slated for appearances at London's Wigmore Hall and the Leipzig Gewandhaus.