Libby Yu performed A Concert for the Soul on June 28, hosted by Jewish Seniors Alliance and the Kehila Society of Richmond. (screenshot)
On June 28, Jewish Seniors Alliance and the Kehila Society of Richmond presented classical pianist Libby Yu in performance via Zoom. A Concert for the Soul was the last session of the 2020-21 JSA Snider Foundation Empowerment Series.
Toby Rubin, coordinator of Kehila Society, welcomed everyone to the concert and introduced Yu, who was born and grew up in Richmond. An accomplished performer, collaborator, teacher and adjudicator, Yu has graced international stages and has appeared as soloist with major symphony orchestras. She brings her passion for music to audiences of all ages and venues. She is an artist for the Health Arts Society’s Concerts in Care, which allows her to share her music in residential care homes and hospitals. Rubin encouraged us all to watch Yu’s fingers as they moved on the keyboard.
Yu greeted everyone from her home, saying how much she enjoys performing for JSA and Kehila and that she looks forward to playing for us in person in the future. She told us that she would be playing Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Frédéric Chopin.
The first piece was Beethoven’s Moonlight in three movements. The first was slow, the second light and happy, while the third was dramatic with many runs and chords.
The next piece was Schubert’s Impromptu, 4th Opus in A Flat Major. This piece is full of cascades, arpeggios, with a beautiful melody. It is in the ABA format, where the third movement returns to the melody of the first.
This was followed by two of Chopin’s Etudes, the first in F minor and the second his well-known revolutionary étude that reflects his turmoil over the instability of his native Poland.
Yu ended her performance with a Chopin Ballade, in G minor. The main theme is a quiet, still melody that builds in virtuosity and then flourishes to huge dramatic chords. The coda is fast and exciting.
It is indeed a pleasure to watch Yu in her intensity and concentration. After her performance, she thanked us and said she hoped the music brought us all joy.
Gyda Chud, co-president of JSA, thanked Yu for the program. She reminded everyone that, in the past, events with Kehila have included lunch and, hopefully, we will all be able to enjoy both lunch and a performance in person soon.
Chud again thanked Yu, saying the concert was not only an inspiration for the soul, but also for the heart and mind.
The Empowerment Series will continue with the theme “Be Inspired” for the 2021-22 season.
Shanie Levin is program coordinator for Jewish Seniors Alliance and on the editorial board of Senior Line magazine.