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Ricky Shi’s Talent Transcends Musical Genres

Ricky Shi’s Talent Transcends Musical Genres

Ricky Shi’s Talent Transcends Musical Genres


Shi performs at Carnegie Hall

Contributing Writer

June 2, 2023

Anthony St. Clair '25

Ricky Shi is a four-year Senior from Shanghai, China. At school, he is involved with Songs for Smiles and Creative Music Association. Shi won First Place in Connecticut at MTNA (Music Teacher National Association) twice, and has been a part of the Spain Music Program for three years. Next year, Shi plans to attend the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and major in piano performance. 

What significance does the piano hold in your life? 

Playing the piano has held a different significance to me during different parts of my life. When I was younger, it was almost like meditation. My life has been tumultuous, from living in two countries, to having difficulties communicating with my parents, to keeping up with academic expectations. So learning musical pieces was a very enriching process, as it taught me how to express my emotions through music. Today, the performance aspect of playing the piano is more significant to me. Music is not just something that can be contained within a single room: there is a real social component to it. When I can play for other people, it makes me feel like I’m engaging in a conversation and an open dialogue. Everyone can take time to share, appreciate, and listen. 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? 

Find and understand your goal in playing music. During my time at the school, I’ve seen many different kinds of musicians. There are people who focus primarily on different techniques, those who try to mimic the styles of certain musicians, and those who are really interested in developing their own musical niche. Interestingly, last kind represents a kind of “entrepreneurial” artist. I used to give myself a lot of pressure to keep up with my peers, but, as I’ve seen so many people come and go from school, I now think it’s more important to think critically and find my own place in this society and beyond. 

How have the faculty at the school helped you on your musical journey? 

I study music with Mr. Fabio Witkowski, head of the visual and performing arts department, and I’ve had the opportunity to play with other visiting guest pianists. Mr. Witkowski is a great musician and a great teacher. He understands me as an artist and, more importantly, as a per son. 

What are your plans for your music career in the future? 

I’ve been playing classical piano for most of my life, recreationally and academically. However, I’m planning to shift gears to do more contemporary pop, as I’m also a songwriter. I believe attending UCLA will give me a great opportunity to get music experience in LA. In the future, I hope to publish some of my pieces and work with other artists.

Anthony St. Clair is a contributing writer for The Record.

September 28th

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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