Give us some background: when did you start playing, what’s your current age, and who do you study with?
I am 12. I started playing the piano at 4 under Rob Diefendorf who taught me how to express myself in music. I had my first harp lesson at 5 under Constance Tsang. I am currently studying with Dan Yu.
Tell us about your WHC program. How did you choose your repertoire and what do you like about the music?
My WHC program consists of Sonata in C Minor by S. G. Dussek, Oriental Dance and Toccata by Aram Khachaturian and Suzhou River Fantasia by Phil Young. Ms Yu and I selected the pieces together, trying to put different elements and colours into the programme.
To me, Sonata in C Minor goes from the fire in the first movement and lyrical aspects in the second movement to a delightful ending. I love this piece because it shows the elegance of the classical period, and requires clear notes. Though cutting out the buzzes is not easy at the beginning, the end result is very satisfying.
Oriental Dance and Toccata is one of the most rhythmic, energetic and exotic piece I have played, and the learning process is frustrating yet exciting. This piece means a lot to me, as it brings out my fiery side.
Suzhou River Fantasia, in my mind, shows the hustle and bustle of a Chinese village with the villagers moving with the times yet living under the culture and tradition of the previous generations. This piece is so beautiful; it gives you much room and space for imagination. Every time when I play this piece, there is a different story emerging in my mind.
Have you ever attended a World Harp Congress?
This is my first ever World Harp Congress.
What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get to Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is my home, and I look forward to welcoming harpists from around the world to Hong Kong.
Which harpist do you most admire?
I look up to harpists who have given me much inspiration during private lessons and master classes—Dan Yu for being an admirable harpist and teacher in every way and I am much indebted to her; Marie-Pierre Langlamet for always putting the magic to the pieces and for being so cool and confident on stage; Maria Luisa Rayan for her warm encouragements, elegance and artistry; Elizabeth Hainen for her grace and virtuosity; Sivan Magen for the immense details he puts in his playing and Emmanuel Ceysson for his brilliant techniques.
Two years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Distinguished Professor Susann McDonald. She taught me what was true passion for the harp and how to show my love and enjoyment for music in my playing.
Apart from professional harpists, I also learn a lot from other young harpists whom I have met along my journey. They give me so much hope and happiness when I see them perform on stage.
Which harpist are you most looking forward to meeting in person at the WHC?
There are so many harpists I wish to meet at the WHC, especially the following whom I have not had the chance to meet in person—Isabelle Perrin, Catherine Michel, Anneleen Lenaerts, Xavier de Maistre and Sasha Boldachev.
What’s the most memorable musical performance you’e ever attended?
Two of the most memorable musical performances I have attended were the piano performance by Yuja Wang in Hong Kong when I was dazzled by her flamboyance and flair and an amazing concert Emmanuel Ceysson gave in China Club in Hong Kong last year when he answered questions from the audience with beautiful pieces and his stories and personal experience.
What’s your most memorable performing experience?
My most memorable performing experience is probably the Rising Star Concert in Seoul because I had so much fun on stage, though I was quite nervous. I also received a lot of encouragement from other fellow performers, which really calmed my nerves.
What advice would you give a young student wanting to start harp?
Enjoy the music, give your best, chase your dreams and never ever give up.
hat’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
The best piece of advice was from my mother on the night before a competition. It was: “Your song is like a piece of jade, unique and precious. When you see someone playing like a diamond, don’t be discouraged and think that your piece of jade is worthless. Have faith in yourself and show others how unique and beautiful your piece is.” Her advice rings in my mind every time when I have a competition or start to lose my faith in my piece.
When you’re not playing the harp what do you like to do?
When I’m not playing the harp, I like to cook (especially bake), write stories, read ( love a good John Green novel to whisk me away from everyday life! ), dance, watch an action movie, travel, play with my brother and spend time with my friends.
What’s on your playlist?
Mostly Pink Martini.
Finish this sentence: In 10 years I see myself…
…touring around the world, sharing my music with everybody.