Arts4All Blog

Merit Scholar Students of Ludmila Kurtova

Posted February 15th, 2018  |  By A4A.admin

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CSMA’s upcoming concert features the Merit Scholar Students of Ludmila Kurtova, performing on Saturday, February 24, at 5:00pm. We sat down with graduating senior Jerry Liu to discuss what it’s like to work with Distinguished Teacher and internationally acclaimed pianist Ludmila Kurtova.

Jerry Liu, Merit Scholar

When did you first start playing piano?  When did you start taking lessons at CSMA?

I started playing piano at age 6. I’ve been at CSMA since July 2007.

What role does music have in your life?

Music has really become a means of self-expression for me. I love music’s power to move people, to evoke emotions, and being able to move someone like that with my music is very meaningful to me.

How did working with Ludmila help you grow as a musician?

Working with Ludmila really helped me better appreciate the music I was playing. I think it’s easy, through all the stress of practicing and performing, to lose sight of the beauty in the music, and Mrs. Kurtova helped me understand that you have to stop and smell the roses.

How often do you practice?

I try to practice 1.5 hours a day. On busy weekdays that doesn’t happen, but I make up for it on the weekends.

Jerry Liu performing with Daniel Tan at the 2017 Merit Scholar’s Mother’s Day concert.

What will you be playing at the recital on the 24th?

I’ll be playing two rather obscure pieces by Shchedrin: “Basso Ostinato” and “A la Albeniz”. I’ll also be playing a two piano arrangement of a section from Stravinsky’s Petrushka with Daniel Tan, which I’m really looking forward to.

You’re graduating soon, congratulations!  What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on studying mathematics while continuing to explore music in college.

Jerry Liu performing with fellow Merit Scholars at the 2017 Merit Scholar Holiday concert.

What advice do you have for the younger Merit Scholars?

I would encourage younger Merit Scholars to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that the Merit Scholarship program provides. For me, playing in small ensembles with dedicated peers really helped me develop as a musician and inspired me to explore different aspects of music that I otherwise wouldn’t have sought out.

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