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Music

Vicky Yang ’25: Exploring Classical Piano Performance

Project Date:
Project Date: Summer 2023

I was honored to receive the Benenson Award, which supported my journey to Claremont, California, for a full-length piano solo recital at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, as well as my tuition at the Borromeo Music Festival in Switzerland.

About the Experience

I was honored to receive the Benenson Award, which supported my journey to Claremont, California, for a full-length piano solo recital at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, as well as my tuition at the Borromeo Music Festival in Switzerland.

The recital trip presented several challenges, such as overcoming jet lag, adapting to a new stage and piano, but it was a valuable learning opportunity. During the recital in Claremont, I had the privilege of sharing my interpretation of works by Mozart, Ravel, Scriabin, and Chopin with the audience. I enjoyed exercising control over every detail and making spontaneous artistic decisions during a live performance, and this experience reinforced my passion for a future career in classical piano performance.

The Borromeo Music Festival provided me with the chance to study under esteemed faculty members from prestigious conservatories. My lessons with Angela Cheng from Oberlin, in particular, offered me a new perspective on music as a science, thanks to her logical reasoning and insightful musical analysis. Julio Elizalde’s chamber music coaching delved deep into the nuances of color, texture, mood, and acoustics, motivating me to explore composers’ intentions and the beauty within each piece.

Additionally, the festival introduced me to talented peers from diverse backgrounds, fostering an environment of mutual growth. Collaborating with fellow musicians and receiving constructive feedback during informal performances enriched my musical journey. The challenge of forming a chamber group with unfamiliar faces and creating a captivating performance of Schumann’s piano quartet Op.47 3rd and 4th movements proved to be a rewarding experience, thanks to our unity and the exceptional guidance from the faculty.

Witnessing the extraordinary talent at the Borromeo Music Festival inspired me to strive for excellence and refine my skills. Furthermore, this experience helped me identify my preferred teaching approaches, which will be invaluable as I prepare for my application for master’s degree in piano next year.

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