November's Young Artist: Umi Garrett
At age 18, Umi Garrett's piano performance career has already taken her all around the globe.
She is the 2012 winner of the Osaka and the Chopin International Music Competitions, and performs regularly in the U.S. Now a busy music student at Juilliard School in New York City, we are grateful to Umi for taking a moment out of her schedule to talk with us:
NC: What made you decide to play the piano?
UG: I wanted to start playing piano when I was 4, because I saw my
friends in preschool start, and I thought it would be really fun. Once I
started playing, I grew to love it more and more.
NC: Do you play any other musical instruments?
UG: I also learned the violin when I was younger, but I was always more
drawn to the piano.
NC: Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations?
UG: Amazing female pianists like Yuja Wang and Martha Argerich inspire
me - their performances and dedication push me to work harder everyday.
NC: Do you have a favorite music composer or musical composition?
UG: My favorites always change, but currently, my favorite piece of
music is Scriabin's Fantasie in B. It's a really difficult piece, I
think, to understand, but it's such a beautiful and rich piece.
NC: How were you able to balance your school academics with a piano
UG: When I was in high school, I did my best to manage my time wisely,
but I wouldn't have been able to balance academics and piano without my
incredibly supportive high school and teachers. Now, I'm at the
Juilliard School, and I have the time and opportunity to put all my
focus on music.
NC: What interests do you have aside from playing music?
UG: Aside from playing music, I love watching movies and reading books.
I also love making vlogs, they're usually just about things going on in
my life and my friends. I love the whole video-making process.
NC: Can you recall once of your most memorable performance experiences?
UG: I usually encourage young children to come to my concerts, because
that's how I was inspired when I was younger - through live
performances. Once though, there was a lady with her baby right in the
front row, and the baby started crying during one of the slower pieces.
To make it worse, the lady started shaking her car keys to entertain the
baby. Honestly, it was really funny, and definitely one of a more
memorable performance experience.
NC: Which countries have you already visited, and where do you dream of
UG: I've been to lots of countries in Europe, Australia, Panama, Japan,
China, Canada, and Mexico. I really love traveling and going to other
countries and seeing other cultures, so I would love to perform
anywhere. I haven't been to many places in South America, though, so I
would love to perform there someday.
NC: Do you have any interesting musical projects on the horizon?
UG: Right now, I'm about to publish my third CD, Storybook. It's 2 years
in the making, and I'm so excited to finally share it with everyone.
Watch Umi's gripping performance of Beethoven Piano Sonata Op. 90 in E