Pianist Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu burst onto the world stage in October 2021 when he won the International Chopin Piano Competition, the first Canadian ever to take first prize in the long history of this most prestigious competition. The fresh, spontaneous dynamism and flawless technique that characterised his playing throughout the various stages (“his Concerto in E minor … held poetry and virtuosity in wonderful balance” Daily Telegraph) not only convinced the jury but have since been winning over critics and audiences at sold-out venues worldwide. The 24‑year-old Paris-born pianist has also impressed interviewers with his humility, sense of humour and intelligent interest in the history and culture of the many places he has visited since his victory in Warsaw.
Liu signed an exclusive agreement with Deutsche Grammophon on 29 March 2022 which, appropriately enough, was World Piano Day. Working in partnership with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, the Yellow Label had already issued an album of live recordings captured during the various stages of the Chopin Competition. Released on 19 November 2021, a month after Liu was announced as the winner, the album was met with a flood of rave reviews. BBC Music Magazine, for example, noted that he has "something consistently interesting and always idiomatic to say about Chopin's music", in playing of "uncommon sensitivity", "rumbustious energy" and "breathtaking beauty".
Two future albums are already being planned: one focusing on French music, including Chopin and Rameau, to reflect his desire to explore the music of his birthplace, the other featuring works by Tchaikovsky, notably the daunting Piano Concerto No.2.