We were excited to catch up with Chung Sze, TASIS Upper School student, after her performance in two competitions last month: The Rotary Ascot Young Musician and The Independent Schools Association (ISA) Finals. Chung Sze received a special mention and went on to the District competition in the Young Musician competition and was a finalist with the ISA. We spoke to Chung Sze about her studies, her music, and her passion for piano.
What do you like best about being a (young) musician?
Music is artistry through sound. Being a musician allows me to communicate and express beauty, culture, and emotion without words. I enjoy being able to help others through music by teaching, accompanying, or simply playing. Being young doesn’t change much; it just means I have more time ahead of me to improve.
What advice would you give to other music students?
Practice passages in dotted rhythms, and learn to sight-read/sing. Music theory, literacy, and technique form the foundation to further expression. Most importantly, commit and stick to what you do. Conviction is key.
Who are your favorite musicians, composers, etc.? What influence have they had on your music?
I don't really have favorite composers because all the pieces that I've played have helped shape me as a musician in terms of technique, stylistic awareness, and maturity. I do enjoy playing Romantic/20th Century French and Russian music, and this is evident when looking at my repertoire.
Who else has influenced your music or your music career?
Regarding my music career, I would not be where I am today without my piano teacher, Elena Krivenko. She has taught me so much about piano, music, and life in general and I am so grateful for all the time and effort that she has given me. She influences my music massively, but at the same time encourages me to always find what works best for me. Of course, I also have my piano teachers back in Hong Kong to thank: Ms. Patty, Ms. Lee, and Ms. Chiu. Many other music teachers have helped me along the way, including my violin teachers and my bell choir instructor. Last but not least, Ms. Hayden has given me countless opportunities to explore new types of music. Thanks to her support I have been, among other things, a choir accompanist and Assistant Musical Director for multiple theatre productions.
I certainly could not be where I am today if it were not for my parents driving me to lessons up to 7 times a week and taking me to competitions, no matter how far away. My mother works tirelessly organizing my schedule, my competition/exam entries, and everything in between. Without her, my music career would be non-existent.
What does this competition mean to you?
This competition, as well as Rotary Ascot (which happened on January 21st), was another opportunity for me to meet musicians from other schools and see what they are up to. The performance experience doesn’t hurt either; each competition allows me to try out different combinations of my program and see how I feel with each. This competition, in particular, was a different experience in that the time limit (5 minutes) was a lot shorter than I am used to, and there was no opportunity to warm up. 5 minutes is not a lot of time to present a full, rounded performance, so that was certainly a new challenge.
TASIS England congratulates Chung Sze and her family and thanks Chung Sze for her inspiring words about music and performing. #PlayYourPart