Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pianist Chu-Fang Huang Coming to Beaches

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pianist Chu-Fang Huang Coming to Beaches

Article excerpt

Byline: Tamara McClaran

This week marks two special events for Chinese pianist Chu-Fang Huang. Tonight, she'll make her New York debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. On Friday, she'll perform at St. Paul's by the Sea Episcopal Church for the Beaches Fine Arts Series.

Her performance at the Jacksonville Beach church, 1150 Fifth St. N., will be free. Seating is first come, first served.

Those performances are among a long list of professional concert engagements over the next two years that accompany Huang's first-place award at the Cleveland International Piano Competition. The 23-year-old also received a $50,000 cash award.

The Cleveland competition ranks in the top echelon of piano competitions. It attracts about 250 applicants, from which 30 pianists from all over the world are invited to compete. The field is narrowed down to eight pianists, then four finalists who perform concertos with the Cleveland Orchestra before the winner is announced.

"The competition is a chance to be heard," Huang said by telephone recently from New York City, where she is working on a master's degree at Juilliard School of Music. "Hopefully, you play so well they will want to re-engage you."

Huang will perform several works, including Chopin's Sonata No. 2, Liszt's Sonata in B minor and Huang Ruo's Three Pieces for the Piano. Ruo is a doctoral candidate at Juilliard and wrote the work's second movement, Interlude, especially for Huang.

The pianist grew up in China and came to the United States at age 15 to continue her studies. Huang was nearly 7 before she began playing piano.

"My parents decided to give me something [piano lessons] to work on for my excessive energy," Huang said.

Even though she didn't like to practice, Huang's father, who was in the military, made her stick with it. She discovered performances made practicing worth all the effort. …

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