CCM graduate student wins PianoTexas Concerto Competition
Ningjialu “Lulu” Liu was one of three champions of the keyboard contest
UC College-Conservatory of Music doctoral pianist Ningjialu “Lulu” Liu was a winner of the recent PianoTexas Young Artist Concerto Competition, hosted by Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Being a young artist with the program is competitive enough, with only 24 spots available; Liu rose to the top of the group by placing amongst three winners of the concerto contest. Participants in the young artist program, each of whom receives a full scholarship for the festival, are immersed in piano performances and instruction.
As part of her prize for winning the concerto competition, Liu gave a performance of Saint-Saëns’ Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22, with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. The concert is still available for streaming online and also features the other two winners of the competition, who respectively performed Bach’s Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052, and Chopin’s Concerto in E minor, Op. 11.
About Ningjialu Liu
Born into a musical family in Sichuan, China, pianist Ningjialu Liu began her musical journey at age five under her father’s guidance. At age nine, she performed her first solo recital at Chengdu, Sichuan, and was soon invited to perform with pianist Xiang-Dong Kong. At 11, she was admitted to the Affiliated Middle School of Sichuan Conservatory of Music, where she studied with piano pedagogue Yan Wang.
As a student, Liu was a contracted artist of Chengdu Yamaha and performed a recital sponsored by Yamaha. In 2013, at age 17, she made her concerto debut playing Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor under the baton of conductor Qi-Yuan Zhu with the Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra. The same year, she was admitted to Oberlin Conservatory of Music on scholarship and studied with Peter Takács.
She earned her master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music studying with Victor Rosenbaum. Currently, Liu studies with CCM Professor of Piano Awadagin Pratt. Away from piano, she enjoys painting, cooking, film and literature.
PianoTexas International Academy & Festival, formerly known as the TCU/Cliburn Piano Institute, was founded in 1981 during the Sixth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Throughout the years, this event has evolved into an International Music Festival, renowned for its world-class solo, concerto and chamber music concerts. The International Academy has served as an important and beneficial avenue imparting musical insights and understanding of the professional music world to talented young pianists, while presenting special programs for dedicated teachers and passionate amateurs. PianoTexas is presented by the School of Music, TCU in collaboration with the Fort Worth Symphony Association.
The Young Artists Program is designed for gifted young pianists up to age 28 to experience the art of performing in a professional environment. Applicants from all over the world go through a stringent screening procedure from which 24 performers are invited on full tuition scholarships. PianoTexas’s long-standing collaboration with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra allows several young artists to perform complete concertos in two public concerts. They also have wonderful opportunities for solo recitals and participate in master classes and private lessons. Chamber music, introduced in 2004, and the study of lieder provides these talented performers with a unique variety of opportunities to further develop their skills. Active observers are provided private lessons while the general observers together with other participants and the community are invited to all programs creating a superb festive atmosphere.
Featured image at the top: Ningjialu Liu performing with the Texas Medical Center Orchestra.
CCM Graduate Assistant , Marketing + Communications
Alexandra Doyle is a doctoral candidate studying clarinet performance at CCM. Alexandra’s master’s degree is also from CCM, and she holds bachelor’s degrees in clarinet performance and journalism from the University of Houston.