Radio Performance Is Music to Her Ears Pianist's Skills Will Be Heard Once Again on Saturday

By Dell'Aringa, Stefanie | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 22, 2002 | Go to article overview

Radio Performance Is Music to Her Ears Pianist's Skills Will Be Heard Once Again on Saturday


Dell'Aringa, Stefanie, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Stefanie Dell'Aringa Daily Herald Correspondent

In the Savidge family's living room, a glossy black grand piano is waiting to come to life.

And there's only one person in the family who can make it happen - 17-year-old Alexandra, who sits with perfect posture as her long, graceful fingers strike the keys with rapid-fire action.

Alex may be only a junior in high school, but to hear her play is to listen to an accomplished pianist. After all, she has been playing since the age of 6.

Despite the long hours of practice and many performances over the years, Alex never imagined she would wind up on the radio. But that's exactly what happened on Dec. 29 after she was selected as one of eight winners in the 2001 Steinway Solo Piano Competition in Burr Ridge.

"We sat in the family room and listened (to the broadcast)," recalled the Algonquin resident who attends Jacobs High School.

WFMT (98.7 FM) will re-broadcast Alexandra's performance and interview at 10 a.m., Jan. 26.

As she sits at the piano, she discusses how it felt to perform and be interviewed at WFMT, Chicago's Fine Arts radio station.

Performances are usually a little nerve-wracking, she says. "I get nervous usually in the beginning but a little into the piece I warm up and it's not as bad."

Alex played Beethoven's "The Tempest" and Liszt's "Etude No. 5" for the Steinway Society's competition. She took fifth place and received $100.

The greatest reward was hearing herself play on the radio, something she never thought would happen.

"I really didn't expect it," she said. "I didn't really think I had a chance (of winning)."

It was a couple of weeks after the competition that Alex actually found out she was one of the winners and was invited to be a guest on WFMT. Since she had stopped playing "The Tempest" for a while, she needed to perfect it again for the recording session at the radio station, which took place Dec. 1.

Each of the eight winners was invited to WFMT for an interview and performance.

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