This clip is just a few seconds of music from the Cooper International Piano Competition which was held at Oberlin College during the week of July 19-25, 2014.
The music being played by this performer was, to my untrained ear, astonishing and superb and sounded completely flawless! She is just 13 years old but has the confidence and poise of a mature adult. She even placed flowers on the road to apologize to the composer Franz Liszt for the mistakes she made while playing his music! We just heard perfection in her playing!
This performer that I am speaking of is Miss Allison To who, with her mother Stephanie and teacher Ethan Dong, spent the 10 days of the competition with us here at Hallauer House. She advanced through to the 40 minute Concerto Round where she played Chopin, Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op.11, Allegro maestoso, Romanze-Larghetto, and Rhondo-Vivace. We were so thrilled for her performance but were sorry to learn that she did not advance to the recital finals but, the good news, she says she will be back in two years for the next Cooper Competition!
As I mentioned above, Allison is just 13 years old but she has performed at The Beverly Hills Hotel in California, the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Utah, and concert stages in Tennessee and Ohio. She has performed a solo recital at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Yamaha Salon in New York. From Oberlin she will return to her home and then make a journey to Germany for another piano competition. The New York Concert Review described Allison as “one of the most refined and artistic players for her age and perhaps any age.”
It was also a great pleasure to meet Allison’s teacher, Ethan Dong who is a concert pianist in his own right and who is more than willing to share his talent with the next generation. And Stephanie, Allison’s mom, is raising a remarkable daughter. Her daughter is a talented competitor but still centered and grounded as a normal teenager.
The International Cooper Competition at Oberlin College will bring in talented violinists next year and then in 2016 we hope to welcome back our Allison To. Good luck in Germany and all the other competitions between now and summer of 2016. And remember, we’ll keep the lights on for you! You rock! Stay in touch! See you soon!!!!