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Bruce Xiaoyu Liu's win at Chopin competition a boon for Quebec, says one of his peers

Last Updated Oct 21, 2021 at 4:14 pm MST

Pianist Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu, center, of Canada celebrates after being named as the winner of the 40,000-euro ($45,000) first prize in the 18th Frederic Chopin international piano competition, a prestigious event that launches pianists’ world careers. Almost 90 pianists from around the globe took part in the 18th edition of the competition that was postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

TORONTO — A first-prize win for Montreal pianist Bruce Xiaoyu Liu at the 18th Frederic Chopin piano competition is a victory that will be shared in some ways by Quebec’s most prestigious music schools, suggests one of his peers.

Charles Richard-Hamelin, who lives in Montreal and took second prize at the 2015 edition of the Warsaw contest, says the French-Canadian city is “on a good roll these days” as its classical musicians draw more respect and attention.

He says Liu’s win signals not only personal success but a shining example of how local music institutions are successfully training and shaping future generations of performers.

The 24-year-old Liu was named Thursday as the winner of the 40,000-euro (C$57,500) prize, a recognition that instantly elevates his status and will send him to perform in countries across the globe.

Liu, who was born in Paris before moving to Canada, graduated from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal where he studied under Richard Raymond for much of his youth.

At the competition, he played works by Chopin over three weeks, competing against 86 other young pianists from other countries.

He told The Associated Press that winning the prize is a “life-changing event” but that he is “ready for it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2021.

David Friend, The Canadian Press