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SFCM Students Attend Carnegie Hall Workshop with Jonathan Biss

Ning Zhou ’17, Jonathan Biss, Yilin Liu ’17, and SFCM VP of External Affairs and Artistic Operations, Gloria Kim

There is perhaps no other concert venue in America as storied as Carnegie Hall. For over 125 years, it has shaped the careers of countless musicians as one of the world’s premier presenting institutions. In addition to its regular concert season, Carnegie Hall also has a robust education and community program, the Weill Music Institute, which includes master classes, workshops, and other initiatives, including the celebrated National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA).

One of Carnegie Hall’s most anticipated educational events this year has been pianist Jonathan Biss’ Late Style Workshop, which took place in February. Complementing his performances at Carnegie Hall this season, Biss selected six young artists to take part in an intensive, five-day piano workshop. Biss worked with the participants—two coming from SFCM—to examine the finer points of Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert in multiple master classes and daily private lessons. Brentano Quartet violinist Mark Steinberg was also on hand to give coachings to the pianists. The workshop culmniated with a recital in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing on February 22.

Yilin Liu ’17 was one of the six pianists from SFCM who attended the workshop. “It was a truly remarkable experience to work on and perform the most special works by the greatest composers in music history in such a venue,” she reflected. “Mr. Biss shared his intelligence and inspirations with his audience, including me and my eminent colleagues studying in the States and in Europe. I really appreciate this opportunity to work with the most outstanding musicians on a repertory that has such special power.”

“It was my great honor to represent SFCM at the workshop in New York,” said Ning Zhou ’17, another workshop participant. “The most memorable part of the workshop was our first day at Carnegie Hall. We practiced in a practice room with a huge poster of world-renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz, which looks like he's watching you. It was a totally special feeling I never had before. After the final concert at Carnegie Hall, I think I have a new feeling about my piano performance. Performing in Carnegie Hall means a lot for a musician, and, for me, I think it was one of my best moments of my life.”

Carnegie Hall’s dedication to education and community engagement offers the opportunity for young artists from around the world to come study with the best musicians of our time. This season, additional workshops and master classes at Carnegie Hall feature mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Marilyn Horne, the Tallis Scholars, and other prestigious artists.

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