Last Saturday, December 1st, The St. Paul Piano Teachers Association (SPPTA) held its annual concerto competition. This is a very fine and rewarding event with the winner given the opportunity of performing with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra. All three of our entrants performed beautifully and ranked at the very top of the event. Beatrice (Bea) Grant,
a high school junior, was awarded Second Place giving a very powerful and beautiful performance of Liszt's Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major. She received 3rd place last year, so she is moving up! This follows a wonderful opportunity Bea had last summer at the University of Minnesota's International Piano Camp performing the second half of her Liszt Concerto. Earlier last season, Bea was a winner of the Golden Valley Orchestra's Concerto Competition performing the first movement of Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor. So Bea is beginning to put together a number of important building blocks in cultivating concerto performances. And she should be a powerhouse in next year's event!
Our young and charismatic Orion Kim (7th grade) won 3rd place with the 2nd and 3rd movements of Mozart's tragic and monumental Concerto in D minor. He reached the finals last year with the 1st movement as just a 6th grader. Orion also had the great opportunity to perform the first movement of this masterpiece last summer with the University of Minnesota's International Piano Camp's Orchestra. This was in addition to winning the Minneapolis Music Teachers Mozart Concerto Competition earlier last season. Orion was awarded three performances with the Kenwood Symphony.
Last - but not least - Jasmine Jiang (8th grade) made the finals in her very first outing in any kind of competition performing the 2nd and 3rd movements of Mendelssohn's Concerto in G minor.. Jo Anne and I were so happy for her! Jasmine is a budding virtuoso and shows great promise. We expect many great things from her in the future.
Yours in Music -
Joe & Jo Anne