Claire Huangci reflects on her Premiere Series experience

The second task of the Tri-wizard tournament has been completed! I mean….the American Pianists Association’s Classical Fellowship Awards. (First task being the CD selection process:)) I was so happy to be selected as one of the five pianists, and playing as the ‘premiere’ in the Premiere Series was a great honor, and no pressure))  Since I was named one of the Finalists earlier this year, it has been my primary goal to set and work on the repertoire for the Premiere Series and Discovery Week.

My week in Indianapolis whizzed by, starting with a gourmet lunch of McDonald’s (I’m guiltily addicted) with my host mom, Lin Frauenhoff and ending with the concert with the Southport High School Orchestra. Every day was jam packed wtih activities but I enjoyed each and every moment. There was never any feeling of hectic rush or overwhelming pressure, perhaps because everything was so well organized and everyone was so friendly. Staying with Lin was relaxing and totally comfortable, we understood each other from the get go and I felt completely at home.

Then of course, the actual concert at the Indiana History Center with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra was like a dream. I’ve only performed one other time a concert with half recital and half concerto, and this is a very unique and rewarding experience. You find by the time the orchestra comes on, that playing the concerto is the most natural thing in the world. The ICO and Maestro Kirk Trevor were completely supportive and during our rehearsal, I learned so much and discovered new possibilities of interpreting the Beethoven Concerto No. 3. It indeed opened up new dimensions of the music to me, and I think that our performance together was cohesive and emotional.

Photo by Bob Bader

The second bulk of my week was spent at the Southport Middle and High Schools. I have to honest, I was a little suspicious of talking to so many students and fairly disgruntled at the early hours(7:25!) but these few days really became such a highlight of my year! I’ve played in many places but I’ve never had the chance to communicate so much with young people about what I do. Just seeing firsthand the genuine curiosity and animation of the students shows me that classical music absolutely has a good chance of thriving in the states with programs like Concerto Curriculum. Working with Ms. Levin and the orchestra was efficient and interactive, I sensed progress by the minute and growing excitement…young people really do learn fast..*sigh*

Photo by Daniel McCullough

I would like to sincerely thank Joel and all the APA staff for their great spirit and support, Lin for making my trip the best possible, Ms. Levin and all the students at Southport for a wonderful performance and so much fun on my part, and my fellow finalists for many moments of laughter at The Keys and Music Matters!

Photo by John Behringer

I am waiting on tenterhooks for April:))))

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Author: americanpianistsassociation

The mission of the American Pianists Association is to discover, promote and advance the careers of young, American jazz and classical pianists.

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