Wei Luo

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The Gilmore Keyboard Festival will present five solo recitals this Sep - Jan, representing an array of talent  making waves in the classical world. Executive director Pierre Van Der Westhuizen joins Cara Lieurance to talk about how he and the festival  discover, support, and showcase the next generation of great artists.

Tiffany Poon is the first to perform, on Sep 22. A "vlogger," she makes popular videos of her practice sessions on YouTube, reaching over 130,000 subscribers. On Oct 6, two Lang Lang Scholars, Alia Alsafa and Jeffrey Chin, offer a joint recital. The Russian-Lithuanian Lukas Geniušus, from a family of venerated classical musicians, appears on Oct 20. Charles Richard-Hamelin, a Canadian who won the silver medal in the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition, will perform on Nov 10; and Wei Luo, a 2018 Gilmore Young Artist, closes the series on Jan 19.

Xie Guichen

Nineteen year-old pianist Wei Luo, a 2018 Gilmore Young Artist, will perform Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini with the Battle Creek Symphony on Saturday as her final concert during the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Luo talks about her experiences this week at the festival, which included solo recitals in South Haven, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. 

As they discuss her upcoming performance of the Rhapsody, Luo talks about the school she's attended for six years, the Curtis Institute of Music. They listen to a recording of her teacher, pianist Gary Graffman, performing the Rhapsody in a 1964 recording with his friend, Leonard Bernstein, conducting the New York Philharmonic. 

Wei Luo will perform the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on Saturday at 7:30 pm, in W.K. Kellogg Auditorium.


Xie Guichen

Ninteen-year-old pianist Wei Luo, a recipient of a 2018 Gilmore Young Artist Award, has an affinity for Russian music. She tells Cara Lieurance about her program, filled with works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Schedrin, as well as Haydn and Chopin, highlighting the powerful emotions and storytelling that went into the creation of the pieces by the composers. 

Ms. Luo explains that when she first encountered a piano as a child she was fascinated with it, and begged her parents to let her play one. To make sure she was serious, her parents gave her a month to consider whether she would commit to learning the instrument before they agreed to purchase one for her to play. Now, she is a student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studies with Gary Graffman and Robert McDonald. 

Ms. Luo will perform solo recitals on April 27 in South Haven, April 28 in Kalamazoo, and April 29 in Battle Creek. She will appear with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra on May 5, performing the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff. For tickets and more details, visit the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival website.