VC Talks: an interview with Grace Wang, GLORY Int'l Music Competition prize winner


First Prize, GLORY Int'l Piano Competition, 2019

In this series of interviews, we explore how some of the most talented and prize winning young classical musicians became interested in music, who are their musical idols, what they are working on at present, and what they strive to achieve in the future.

What year were you born?

Do you come from a musical family?
My mom sings. My dad cannot.

What was your earliest musical experience?
Probably hearing my dad sing ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ very off-key.

Why did you choose to play the piano?
I thought it would be cool if I could play an instrument. So piano it was.

Who are your favorite composers and why?
I love Debussy and Mozart because they write beautiful melodies and both of them write many playful pieces that are enjoyable to play.

Who are your musical idols?
Glenn Gould. He has a really unique style of creating music, and the music he creates is so distinguishable and stylistic. I respect him so much for that.

What is a perfect performer?
Someone who feels the music they are playing, who is not afraid to take risks, and enjoys themselves on stage.

What music are you mostly enjoying at the moment?
Bach is pretty cool.

What are the main influences in your music-making?
My teacher. My family. Incredible pianists in my studio.

When you are performing, what are your thoughts?
It’s either ‘I am absolutely terrified’, or ‘Hey, this is pretty fun’. It’s hard to know what mood I’ll be in beforehand, it just happens.

Where do you study music and what are your future educational plans?
I currently study with Professor Ingrid Clarfield. I would definitely like to continue my studies with her and maybe join a music school when I go to college.

What are your reasons to participate in music competitions?
I like the experience, because it is nice to perform in front of people. I get those rare moments where I truly enjoy myself on stage, and those are the moments that make everything else worth it. Also, it gives you something to work towards.

What is your opinion about GLORY International Music Competition?
I loved this competition; I think it’s very interesting to have a Student Jury.

When it is not music, what interests you? What is your favorite pastime?
I love all creative mediums, like design or filmmaking. I also dance.

What book are you reading now?
Harry Potter. Always Harry Potter.

What things do you not like to do?
I hate doing nothing.

What are your strengths?
Knowing my boundaries (most of the time).

What is your life motto?
I’d rather fail than not try.

What is most important in life?
Be present when you are with people you love.

What is more important: talent or hard work?
Hard work. But some talent wouldn’t be bad.

If today was the last day on earth, what would you do?
Eat with my family.

Why does the universe exist?
That is the question.

Thank you very much for talking to us.