Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Mitsuko Uchida

One of my favourite performers is the Japanese pianist, Mitsuko Uchida. I like the way she performs and I was lucky enough to see her in Birmingham in 2010. After the concert I queued up to meet her. I was very nervous and maybe she thought I was crazy as I couldn't think of much to say.

Mitsuko Uchida was awarded a CBE by Queen Elizabeth in 2001 and in 2009 she was made a Dame by the Queen.

The way she performs is very beautiful when you watch her, I like the way she moves her body. Also she is traditional about the way she performs, if anyone in the audience makes a noise she can get upset with them and tell them to leave! Wow, I am pleased I didn't sneeze when I was watching... I am trying to be as good a player as her one day.

This is a very interesting interview where she talks about playing different composers.

This is Mitsuko Uchida playing Chopin Etude Op.10 No.2, I think in 1970.

St. Johns College, Cambridge

Last week I went to a concert at The Divinity School Theatre at St. Johns College in Cambridge. After the concert I met the Director of Music Studies, Professor John Rink. He has just bought a new Steinway for the college and I was lucky enough to have a quick play on it. It is a really beautiful instrument and the touch is perfect. I will be performing at the college using the Steinway in March next year so I am looking forward to playing it again.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Heart 103

On Saturday I went to the Grand Arcade in Cambridge to audition for a Christmas event. If they like the way I play I might get to perform before the Christmas lights are turned on, that will be on Sunday 18th November. That will be great fun. I played La Campanella and also a Christmassy piece called The Snowman. It was fun to play in front of the judges, kind of like the X-Factor.

Today a lady from Heart FM called my mum and said that they thought my playing was good enough and they would like me to perform on Sunday. Cool...

Here are some photos of me auditioning...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Saffron Walden Music Festival

Yesterday I took part in The Saffron Walden Music Festival. I played La Campanella and won the section that I was competing in. It was a great music festival, with a lot of very good musicians. This is a brand new music festival and it is held at The Saffron Walden County High School.

This afternoon the organisers called me to let me know that I had won the whole of the piano section and asked if I could go back at 4pm to play again to compete for the prize of overall winner of the competition. So I played again and I won. Wow, that is really cool, I get to keep a huge cup and my name will be the first on the base.

Here is a photo of me with John York who was the adjudicator at the festival.

I hope I can compete at the festival again next year.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Young Pianist of the North

There is a piano competition called Young Pianist of the North. It is held every year from 28th November to 1st December in Newcastle Upon Tyne. This year I am going to enter the competition for the first time.

Here is a link to the competitions website.

I will be competing in the main category for pianists aged between 11 and 18 years old. Last year I think the first prize was shared by Leonardo Colafelice from Italy and Jung Eun Kim from Korea. I couldn't find anything about Jung Eun Kim but this is a link to the YouTube site belonging to Leonardo Colafelice. I watched some of the videos and I hope that one day I can be as good as he is.

This is Leonardo Colafelice performing Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3 Op.30.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

LangLang Documentary

There is a documentary about LangLang on BBC One on Monday 12th November at 10.35pm. He is one of my favourite pianists. I know a lot of people say he is too theatrical and not pure about the way he plays, but I like his style. I think that people probably said things like that about Liszt when he was alive too.

The documentary is about his life from when he was young and how he became well known. I think it will be very interesting to watch. Here is a link to the LangLang website so you can find out more about him.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Yum! More Noodles!

My new favourite noodles this week are Mi Goreng flavour instant noodles. They are from Indonesia. Mi Goreng is fried noodles in Indonesian, so these are noodle flavoured noodles... huh? They taste best with a little bit of Kecap Manis (which means sweet ketchup) and a fried egg on top.


I really like robots. I found some piano playing robots that are super cool. Here are my top five piano playing robots.

Number Five. A Taiwanese Robot
But its just hands really... robots should have arms and legs, and a head too.

Number Four. Wabot1
I like this robot, it looks really good. But I couldnt find a movie of Wabot actually playing the piano, so maybe it can't really play.

Number Three. Robot at the Shanghai Science Museum
This is like a robot from an old movie. Maybe it has a nice friendly voice.

Number Two. Robonova1
There is a great movie of Robonova1 playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Number One. Teotronica010
This is my favourite robot. He can play piano and move and smile at the same time.

Here is a movie of Teotronica010 playing Mozart 331.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Music Competition

This Saturday I will take part in a music competition in Saffron Walden. It is part of the Saffron Walden Music Festival and will be held at The County High School in Audley End Road, Saffron Walden.

I will compete in two different Piano sections, Class 7 Romantic and Class 8 Modern, so I hope it will go OK! I think this is the first year that there has been a festival like this in Saffron Walden so it is very exciting.

For the Romantic piece I am going to play La Campanella by Liszt and for the Modern piece I will play the third movement of Estampes, Jardins sous la pluie by Debussy. I practiced La Campanella tonight after school.

My sister is also going to take part in the competition. She is going to compete in Class 3 Piano (Grade 5-6) and Class 3 Strings (Grade 5-6). It is the third competition she has ever entered.

Here is an article about the festival from The Cambridge News.

John York is going to be judging the competition. He is a very well known composer and pianist.

Piano House in China

This Piano House is in An Hui province in China. The glass violin has an escalator inside it so that you can go up into the building. It was built as a kind of attraction and inside there is lots of information about the province and about how it will be developed and made better.

I think it would be better if someone actually lived here, maybe a crazy pianist?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Piano Lessons & A Party

This morning I was practicing some new pieces. I am trying to play Piano Sonata No. 21 by Beethoven which is also known as the Waldstein. So far I am working on the first part, the Allegro con brio, which is quite a difficult piece because the sforzando parts are very stretchy for my hands so it is easy to smudge them. Yesterday I had a lesson with my teacher, William Fong. He helped me with Waldstein and also a piece by Ravel called Alborada del Gracioso that I am learning. It is really nice when I can learn a new piece but frustrating sometimes when I can't do it right!!

This is Beethoven looking a bit scary, but still cool...

And this is a movie of Claudio Arrau performing The Waldstein in Bonn in 1977. I like this version a lot.

This afternoon my family went to our friends house in Coton which is a village just outside Cambridge. It was my friend Ekaterinas 12th birthday and we ate roast duck and a chocolate birthday cake. Then we played pingpong, my friend has a new table which folds up which is better than playing on the dining room table! Unfortunately I didn't win...

Friday, 2 November 2012

La Campanella

When I was in Cambridge last weekend someone made a video of me playing one of the pianos there. Now over 80,000 people have watched the video on YouTube. That is really amazing! Some newspapers called and asked to interview me and also I was interviewed on TV today. It's a lot of fun when people are interested in hearing me play.

I made this movie tonight so you can see the whole of Campanella, I hope its OK, there are a few mistakes because I only started this piece about a month ago.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Halloween Pumpkin

My brother Josh and I, made this spooooookeee halloween pumpkin...

The orange looks really cool in the photo.