April 18, 2016

DEALING WITH STAGE FRIGHT

I had terrible stage fright when I first started performing again in 2006, after 12 years of not playing the piano.  I started reading books on handling performance anxiety.  I like to share with you my inventory of techniques.  I know it is a long list, and some may even sound contradictory to each other.  So just pick a few and experiment with them.  If one does not work,...

April 18, 2016

Over the years, I have refined my approach to learning new pieces more efficiently.  Below I share some tips.

RULES FOR LEARNING NEW PIECE

  • start memorizing a new piece at the beginning of your learning process     

  • do not stick your eyes on the score!   instead, spend more time watching your hand, finger, and feel your body movements.

  • break it down: memorize onl...

November 8, 2013

Berlin Philharmonie's Großer Saal(2500 seat) for Round 4

 

The Berlin International Amateur Piano Competition is one of the world's biggest and most prestigious competition for amateur pianists.  There are a total of 4 rounds, in which the last is a concerto round performed with an orchestra.

 

On Oct 9 , 2010 I performed at Berlin Philharmonie's Kammermusiksaal  (1500 seat) the Liszt Sonata in B Minor...

June 5, 2013

This article was featured in Grand Piano Passion.

 

 

Ricker Choi performing the Debussy Clair de Lune at a benefit concert for SickKids Foundation in 2013.

The name Clair de Lune comes from Paul Verlaine’s poem of the same name. When I listen to or perform Clair de Lune, however, I don’t necessarily need to conjure up the poem’s imagery; the music speaks to me directly.

 

I think there is always this de...

April 14, 2013

I first met Anson Hui at North York Music Festival Gala concert, where he performed Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor.  I was very much impressed by his mature and refined performance.  It wasn't a few years later that I realized Anson has a truly inspirational story.  But first, check out his amazing performance of this concerto!

 

 (Anson's entrance is at 4:18)

 

(Anson will be perfo...

March 6, 2013

My friend Nancy Williams is a true inspiration.  She went to Harvard Business School for M.B.A, then worked in the telecom and mobile phone industry.  However, she felt that her true calling was to be a creative writer.  So she quit her lucrative job as a marketing director at AT&T, and became a writer!  Since then she had won The Chattahoochee Reviews Lamar York Nonfiction Prize for her essay...

December 14, 2011

I live in a condo and used to have an upright piano.  However, my neighbors complain constantly and I had to give up practicing at home.

Then a friend told me about Yamaha's AvantGrand, which claims to reproduce the touch and sound of Yamaha's 9-foot concert grand.  I was initially skeptical but with my friend's persistence I gave it a try.  

AvantGrand N3

The keyboard's touch and feel is very...

December 14, 2011

On Sept 26, Friday evening, I had the honour of playing for composer Alexina Louie her work Fastforward - composed specifically for the Montreal International Musical Competition as the imposed Canadian work.  Alexina is one of Canada's most highly regarded and most often performed composers.  Her long list of awards includes the Juno Award, Composer of the Year (from the Canadian Music Council) an...

December 18, 2009

2009 COMPETITION RESULTS 
1st prize  Vincent Schmithorst
2nd prize (tie)  Ricker Choi,   Abel Sanchez-Aguilera
3rd prize  no award
 
There were 50 competitors, some from as far as Germany, Paris, and Japan. I went to Boston with four other amateur pianist friends from Toronto.
 

MY REPERTOIRE 
Round 1: Mephisto Waltz No. 1
Round 2: Scriabin: Sonata #5
Round 3: Beethoven: Bagatelle Op 126...

December 13, 2008

above: The 6 Finalists from left to right: So-Hee Hur, Vincent Schmithorst, Rebecca Davis, Louis Dalaveris, Kathleen Penny, Ricker Choi

 

I competed in the 2008 Washington International Piano Artists Competition, and was awarded:

  • 3rd Prize,

  • the Press Jury Award,

  • Best Performance of a Romantic Work Award


It was an amazingly intense and nerve wrecking experience. 

Being my first time c...

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