Set atop a hill in a beautiful Abbey with long, curved hallways and an intimate recital room, the first Young Artists' Concert portrayed the incredible potential and skill of the students here at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival. Starting off the concert was Hyae-jin Hwan, playing two movements from Ravel's Miroirs. The ethereal "Oiseaux triste" was longing, atmospheric, and painted the perfect picture of distant bird calls. In contrast, Hwan's performance of "Alborada del gracioso" was full of flair, showing off her dazzling technique and skill while always staying in complete control.
Trevor Magness then delighted the audience with the first movement of Haydn's Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52. His honest and sincere approach was refreshing, coupled with his simple and warm tone quality. Even in the stormy Prokofiev Sonata No.3, he found moments of beauty that allowed the audience to be renewed.
The mysterious and tragic first movement of the Schubert Sonata in A Minor, D784 was beautifully conveyed by Stephani Zi Yi Yang. Her musical maturity was highlighted by her extreme contrast between sections of the piece that effectively captured the deeper meaning this sonata calls for. She then impressed the audience with the thrilling energy she presented in Prokofiev's Etude Op.2 No.1.
The night ended on a high note with Chun Li's expert performance of Debussy's Estampes. The "Pagodes" seemed to emerge from far in the distance at the opening, while majesty graced the grand moments of the piece. The following two movements - "La soirée dans Grenade" and "Jardins sous la pluie" - showed Li's complete control of the instrument, and her innate ability to play well beyond her years.