As I have noted before, Nita Qiu is competing in the Chopin Foundation of the United States' four year scholarship program. This program challenges the applicant to develop - over a four year period - the repertoire necessary for entering the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. For the second year in a row, Nita was just one of nine pianists nationwide to win the full scholarship. She will receive a second $1,000.00 career development grant and an automatic acceptance into the Frost-Chopin Festival and Academy at the University of Miami for the second year in a row. The program is very rigorous and demanding. Each of the four years, the candidate is required to master and record in one unedited performance a large program of required Chopin literature. This coming year will be the most demanding yet. In the third year category, one has to record and submit one of the magnificent Chopin sonatas and one of the grand Polonaises. Nita and I have selected the 3rd Chopin Sonata in B minor and the glorious Polonaise-Fantaisie. These are two of the greatest and most difficult works in the entire pianist's repertoire. Nita and I will be climbing Mount Everest together! She is in for a very exciting Junior year.
This achievement follows Nita's studies and performances at the very first Frost Chopin Festival and Academy at the University of Miami in June. She was one of just twenty international students selected, aged thirteen through twenty-eight. She had private studies with Kenin Kenner, Dang Thai Son, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron, and Margarita Shevchenko, all former prize winners of the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw. Nita presented numerous Chopin Preludes, a Nocturne, the B minor Scherzo, and the entire F minor Concerto. She gave an electric performance of the Scherzo in the final concert at Gusman Concert Hall.
In other news, Bea Grant, Orion Kim, and Analise Harrelson (newly appointed to our Premier Class this fall) were three of just twenty-five students selected to attend the third annual University of Minnesota International Piano Camp. All three students studied with U of M faculty Michael and Kyung Kim. They also each had a Master Class with the renowned international pianist, Antonio Pompa-Baldi and the opportunity to study chamber music. In addition, Bea and Orion each had the opportunity to perform Liszt and Mozart concerti, respectively, in concert with the camp's U of M Lab Orchestra, conducted by the highly regarded Mark Russel Smith.
Jo Anne and I are very excited to begin the new season. It is a time for rebuilding with many exciting events in the offing.
Yours in Music -
Joe & Jo Anne