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Aug 12 2019


Dennis Wang

A trip to Carnegie Hall

My name is Tony Hu, and I am a seventh grader here at BCIS. I started playing the piano five years ago, but it wasn't until this summer that I realized that this could be more than just a hobby for me. Participating in and winning the American Protégé International Piano & Strings competition was a life changing experience.

In 2017, I took part in the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Music Competition China 2017, where I won the first prize. This was the confidence boost that I needed to keep going and to keep getting better. In the next year, to enhance my performance skills, my family decided that I should apply for the American Protégé International Piano & Strings competition. I wasn't very fond of the idea at first, but my teacher reassured me and told me that my passionate performance will appeal to the judges, and that I have it in me to get far. He suggested that I play Chopin's "Fantasia Impromptu" for my application to the competition. We worked together and perfected my playing before we sent a video to the American Protégé organization.

After four months of anticipation, one night in February, we finally got the news we were waiting for. All the effort and time we put in were rewarded. In the email my dad received, the American Protégé organization acknowledged and congratulated me on winning the first prize. In addition, I was granted the chance of performing in Carnegie Hall. This had always been a great dream of mine. Looking through the list of people who were competing, I found out I was the only participant from mainland China to win first prize this year.

As the date of the performance was approaching, I was nervous and worried that I might not perform well onstage, and there was also the added pressure of wanting to prove myself to the judges and my teacher, who worked so hard with me. I continued practicing for the recital and worked hard to eliminate any possible errors.

On June 29th, I performed in the prestigious Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. Coming up to the stage and the glorious Steinway Piano, I felt a bit intimidated at first, but as soon as I started playing, I forgot about everything else and played the most beautiful music of mine in a long time. I put all of myself into the performance, and at that moment I knew I have achieved what I strived for. The overwhelming applause from the audience was the proof that I did well.

After the recital, the organizer of the competition personally congratulated me and presented me with the award. I felt proud and confident when he gave me the award, and all the stress I had experienced before disappeared. I felt enormous gratitude to my teacher helping me grow and improve. I also felt grateful for my family and all the love and support they had given me along the way. When I was stressed or tired, they would always encourage me, giving me confidence. They had put in so much effort and time into my piano playing, and I know none of this would have been possible without them. This is my story and experience I would like to share with you, my fellow students. This experience will certainly give me further motivation to keep learning and striving, and to follow my dreams, no matter what.

By Tony Hu