By Victor Chen, bostonese.com
Boston, March 12, 2015, — It’s hard to imagine that two out of the top three finishers at the Ninth National Chopin Competition lived within five miles of each other west of Boston, and they even had the same teacher: Dorothy Shi. This is what happened earlier this month in Miami.
Eric Lu performs at the Ninth National Chopin Competition(from Chopin Foundation of the U.S. Facebook page).
Seventeen-year-old Eric Lu, a native of Bedford, Mass., won the First Prize which includes a cash award of $75,000, concert appearances and entrance to the Chopin Competition this Fall. George Li, a Lexington native and a Harvard student, took the $20,000 Third Prize. Rachel Naomi Kudo won the $35,000 Second Prize which also wins her a spot at the Chopin Competition.
Winners of 2015 National Chopin Piano Competition(from chopin.org).
Lu was trained at NEC Preparatory School in Boston. He took the first prize award at the Moscow International Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in last August. Lu studies piano at Curtis Institute of Music with Jonathan Biss. He is also a student of pianist Dang Thai Son, who won Gold Medal at the Tenth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland in 1980.
Besides winning the $20,000 cash prize, George Li is invited to have an audition in Warsaw this Spring for the International Chopin Competition. As a student at the joint Harvard-NEC program, George Li enjoyed the few days away from Boston and its history making snowfall this winter.
Both Lu and Li had Dorothy Shi as their first piano teacher. Ms. Shi was a pianist at China National Symphony Orchestra before coming to Boston. Many of her students have won major piano competitions.
When asked about his experience during the National Chopin Competition, Lu replied in an email: “I was very happy to just be in the final round. It was sort of an unexpected roller coaster for me. I didn’t have any expectations. I just wanted to play, and hopefully in the performances find some new epiphany of artistic vision from these experiences. The music is just so wonderful. It really speaks for itself.”
“I know both of them and their families very well for many years. They both are excellent. Very proud of them. I always encourage them that it is not ‘competition’ but ‘performance’. Give the best of you for people who love you, because your music touch their hearts, make them cry and purify our soul. With the high-tech live broadcasting, people around the world could watch your performances. Don’t worry about the ‘competition results’ because it is very complicated and out of our control. I wish both of them will bring back great honor in October’s Chopin concerts in Poland,” said Ms. Cathy Chan of Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts upon learning this exciting news.
The 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition will be held in Warsaw in October. The Chopin Competition was initiated in 1927 and has been held every five years since 1955. It is one of most prestigious piano competitions in the world.