Our radiant Nita Qiu just received a National Career Development Grant from the Chopin Foundation of the United States!! "The purpose of the Chopin Foundation Scholarship program is to support and encourage young, talented American pianists through up to four years of preparation for the National Chopin Piano Competition of the United States which is held in Miami, Florida, every five years. Up to ten (10) renewable scholarships of $1,000 are awarded each year on a competitive basis to outstanding young American pianists who demonstrate a special affinity for the interpretation of Frederic Chopin's music. In addition, the Scholarship Committee may grant half-awards in the amount of $500 to qualified applicants. A half-award may be granted to an applicant only once during the four-year program."
The Scholarship Committee of the Chopin Foundation awarded Nita a full scholarship in the first year category. The four year program is brilliantly conceived, rigorous, and extremely valuable to Nita in establishing and achieving demanding repertoire goals each year of required Chopin works. This will encourage Nita greatly, over a four year period, to develop the repertoire needed in order to enter the International Chopin Piano Competition in the future. Nita won this national competitive award by submitting a video recording of a 25 minute required program of Chopin's works. She performed two Etudes, two Nocturnes, and the Barcarolle. She received rave reviews from the Scholarship Committee Jurors. On the Etudes, one juror stated "Excellent command of the keyboard, very colorful and exciting performance of the etudes." Another said ". . . Brilliant playing, very accomplished with very sensitive shaping, excellent voicing and use of rubato". Of the Nocturnes, a juror exclaimed "Lovely playing, Nita, so many fine moments, very mature, beautiful lyricism and so expressive." Another juror stated ". . . you demonstrate excellent artistic sensibilities." On the Barcarolle, the first juror wrote "You play with a maturity beyond your years, an excellent understanding of this complex and difficult work, great structure, lyricism, drive, phrasing (although sometimes somewhat impatient), and expression. And the third juror wrote, "Wonderfully sensitive and poetic playing."
Nita is so looking forward to the second category of Chopin literature to master and present to the Foundation in a live recording next spring. This category requires 2 Waltzes, 2 Mazurkas, and 6 consecutive Preludes. She is fast at work on this next step. We are all behind Nita as she pursues this challenging and worthy goal in building her Chopin repertoire!!
Yours in Music!
Joe & Jo Anne