October 6, 2016

First Prize Winners this Spring, Two CIM Students Performed at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall web story

On Sunday, October 9, Cleveland Institute of Music senior Rixiang Huang (piano, Pompa-BaldiSchenly) and professional studies student Kyung Ah Oh (violin, Kwuon) performed solo recitals as a result winning first prizes at the New York International Artists Competition in May. We spoke to both Huang and Oh before their performances. An excerpt of the preview is below:

CIM students Rixiang Huang and Kyung Ah Oh are veterans of the competition circuit, however this is the first major competition that both have won the top prize. And the award is worth it.

Huang is both nervous and excited to play at Carnegie Hall, mentioning the exceptional acoustics of the performance space. “I will be nervous for the first 30 seconds, but then it goes away. I’m actually more nervous when it comes to competitions than performances,” he says. For Oh, the nerves haven’t quite hit yet, but she expects they’ll hit her when the time comes.

Oh entered into the competition on the suggestion of her teacher Joan Kwuon. “I didn’t go into it thinking, ‘I’m going to win this competition,’” she says. “I just thought it would be a good experience.” But Huang is always on the lookout for the next competition opportunity. For him, it’s a stepping stone toward his goal of becoming a concert pianist. “I really like to solo. I like chamber music too, but my dream is to be a concert pianist,” he says. “I love performing and I love the feeling of connecting with an audience so I decided to do a lot of competitions.”

Oh is doing a lot of solo work right now, which gives her opportunities to perform, but she’s not dedicating herself to one type of performance just yet.  “I’m exploring all different kinds of music right now,” she says. “I don’t want to think about whether I’m going to do only this. I just try and learn as much as I can.”

Oh will fly to New York early to rehearse with her accompanist. Huang, however, will fly out on Friday after school, perform on Sunday, and then return home immediately after. He says with a grin, “I have to get back for the CIM Concerto Competition prelims on Monday.”