The Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music, based in Regent’s Park London, was established in 1822 with the aim of training musicians to allow them to begin what will hopefully be a flourishing career. As there is such a large number of students, studying a wide range of different instruments and disciplines, the Academy hosts concerts nearly every day. This is a really good opportunity to see classic and traditional pieces of music performed live by full bands, for very little expense.

Last night I went to see ‘All-American Brass’, which was much better than the title would suggest. Now, I will not claim at all to know much at all about classical music, but I am learning and definitely have a growing appreciation of it. The third piece of the evening was ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, originally by George Gershwin. Playing piano was a 20-year-old boy going by the name of Jin Liu who literally blew my mind. I have not seen many piano players play live with the type of exuberance and excitement that he has. You can really tell that he is feeling the whole piece of music from right within him, and it made for such a compelling performance.

From the accompanying notes:

‘Ji Liu was born in 1990 and made his Carnegie Hall recital debut when he was 13. In 2007 he made his debut with Bach Goldberg Variations at the Gstaad  Festival, Switzerland and 92nd Street New York. Ji will make his Paris debut at the Auditorium de Louvre later this year.

Ji received the Tabor Piano Award and CUBS Prize at the Verbier Festival and in 2008 and 2009, received the Martin Musical Award from the Philharmonia Orchestra. Ji was awarded First Prize in the Pinault International Piano Competition in the USA, Second Prize at the International Music Competition Jeunesses Musicales in Romania and First Prize in the Ludmilla Knezkova-Hussey International Piano Competition in Canada.

Ji i currently studying with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music.’

Below are some photographs from the evening, along with a short video of Ji Liu.

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