A Concert for the Soul: Libby Yu
Written by Shanie Levin
A Concert for the Soul, a part of the JSA Snider Foundation Empowerment Series took place, Monday, June 28. Jewish Seniors Alliance and the Kehila Society of Richmond presented classical pianist Libby Yu in performance via zoom. Toby Rubin, coordinator of Kehila Society, introduced the guest. Libby Yu was born and grew up in Richmond. She is 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 share with audiences of all ages and venues. She is an artist for the Health Arts Society, Concerts in Care, which allows her to share her music in residential care homes and hospitals. Toby encouraged us all to watch Yu’s fingers as they move on the keyboard.
Libby Yu greeted everyone from her home and stated how much she enjoyed performing for JSA and Kehila and that she looks forward to playing for us in person in the future. She told us that she will be playing Beethoven, Schubert and 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 Frantz 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 etude 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. She thanked the audience and said that she hoped that the music brought us all joy. Gyda Chud, Co-President of Jewish Seniors Alliance, thanked Yu for the amazing program. She encouraged the audience of about forty-five to complete the evaluation forms on the screen. 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, in the future. Chud again thanked Libby Yu, stating that the concert was not only an inspiration for the soul, but also for the heart and mind.