Again, a concert of students that was unexpectedly impressive. I should have learnt by now. True, there was some youth on show, not least from a Year 6 student, but get into the upper school years, and it was a stunning awareness-raising experience. Hannah Ni was the Year 6 student. Not quite so developed, sharp, mature as the teenagers, but hugely impressive playing Kuhlau and Grieg. I think of my weak take on AMEB 5th grade. Sad. I long to hear Hannah in a few years. Then Year 11, Kenan Zhang, playing Mehul and Sibelius. Dramatic, revolutionary, majestic. I loved this playing. Totally committed; authentically interpretive. Then to Year 12. Now this is getting serious, Jennifer Liu, playing Bach and Haydn and Chopin. More common names. A huge pleasure, capable, informed, mature, even seasoned if you can say that of a teenager. I think of motley performances and shrink. But they have a good teacher, obviously. They come from the studio of Elena Nikulina, award winning AMEB teacher and accompanist and a graduate of the Donetsk S Prokofyev State Conservatory in the Ukraine. They know their artistic stuff in those areas. And what else? They all played from memory. Yes, all performers and, yes, all pieces. And I heard a few lost bars but they were recovered with aplomb and they had been prepared for it. All part of this immensely impressive teaching and its students. A thing of joy and awe.
Hannah Ni, Kenan Zhang and Jennifer Li (piano) performed at Wesley. Hannah, Kenan and Jennifer are all students from the studio of Elena Nikulina (piano teacher).