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Student Musicians Return to Carnegie Hall

Student Musicians Return to Carnegie Hall

Student Musicians Return to Carnegie Hall


Students receive a standing ovation at Weill Recital Hall after their performances.

Contributing Writer

February 16, 2023

Emily Hellqvist '24

The Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall erupted in applause as student musicians returned to the stage for a bow after a night of classical music.

On Friday, January 27, 21 student musicians performed at Carnegie Hall, one of the most renowned music venues in the world. The school’s partnership with Carnegie Hall started in 2018 when Mr. Fabio Witkowski, head of the visual and performing arts department, approached Carnegie with the idea of a long-term partnership. Since then, musicians from the school have performed there twice a year — once with the music program and the other with the Summer Portals piano program. Due to the pandemic, this performance was the school’s first since the Winter of 2020.

Student performances ranged from solos to trios. Bassoonist Oscar Ji ’24, who performed alongside clarinetist Olivia Zhang ’25 and pianist Daniel Li ’24, said, “We have been meeting whenever our schedules align. [For practice], we also played this piece at the local senior home, Noble Horizons, with Songs for Smiles.”

Bill Wang ’25, who has previously played at Carnegie Hall as a soloist and is the concertmaster of the Hotchkiss Orchestra, played in a chamber group with principal cellist Max Salzinger ’25 and pianist Ethan Choi ’26. Wang said, “Unlike a solo performance, chamber pieces are a lot more intricate in the sense that we have to completely understand each other and the role we each play in the music.”

On the day of the concert, the group arrived several hours ahead of the fan bus to prepare and rehearse. Jacqueline Wang ’23, accompanist for Clara Ma ’23, flutist, said, “What was really cool about the experience was that we had to follow a really strict and professional schedule that many great artists who have performed at Carnegie had to follow as well.”

Violinist Boffi Lin ’24 said, “[Before the concert], we were all anxious but excited. In the green room, we cheered each other on through the monitor backstage. It was my first time performing solo at such an internationally recognized music hall, so it was amazing to see so many peers and faculty showing their support in the audience.”

For some Seniors, Carnegie marked the last major performance of their high school music careers. Ricky Shi ’23 said, “I feel very lucky to play at Carnegie in my Senior year. I realized that I have grown a lot as a musician. Having my friends and family come to watch was truly special.”

Many of the orchestral musicians are practising this week for their next performance with the Hotchkiss Philharmonic on February 18. The school’s next concert at Carnegie will feature the Summer Portals Program pianists this July. Mr. Witkowski is already planning concerts at Carnegie Hall in 2024 and 2025.

Emily Hellqvist is a contributing writer for The Record.

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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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