Davis pianist Jessica Yeung was excited when she received news that she was a winner of the American Fine Arts Festival 2012-13 season.
She could barely contain her excitement when she found out that she was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall on March 24. Although she has won other competitions, this one would place her among other talented musicians from around the world.
The American Fine Arts Festival is open to instrumentalists and vocalists of all nationalities, K-12, college-level and amateur adults. Participants competed in a live audition or submitted a DVD recording of one piece from the standard repertoire. The AFA Festival judges place the top winners to Winners’ Concert Series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Yeung was one of 11 musicians selected to perform in the evening winner’s concert. Performers came from as far as Japan, Costa Rica, Argentina and Canada.
Yeung performed a seven-minute contemporary piece, “Two Motions in One Movement,” composed by Mexican composer Samuel Zyman in 1996. It is a piece both dynamic, with its intense and vigorous rhythmic energy, as well as beautiful, with its expressive melodies.
The 13-year-old described her experience to perform at Carnegie Hall as “amazing.”
“Weill Recital Hall was so beautiful and elegant,” she said. “When I walked in, I first noticed three crystal chandeliers in the middle of the room, blue velvet seats in the orchestra and balcony, and blue velvet curtains tied back along the sides of the hall.
“I thought the dome-shaped stage was also beautiful, and I especially loved all the gold gilding along the walls. There was an amazing Steinway concert grand piano that I was able to perform on.”
She also loved meeting the other winners who came from around the world.
“What an once-in-a-lifetime experience! I hope that I can perform there again,” she said.
Yeung began playing the piano at 4½, and has been studying under Huei-Ping Chen Lin since she was 6. She has been competing since she was 9, with numerous first-place awards, including Sylvia Ghiglieri Piano Competition, Festival of New American Music, Classical Masters Music Festival and Regional Honors Auditions of California Association of Professional Music Teachers.
She was a two-time semifinalist of the Mondavi Young Artists Competition. She was also a featured pianist in the Piano Benefit Concert at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.
Yeung attends Da Vinci Charter Academy and is in eighth grade. She plays piano in the school’s Jazz Band, swims with the Davis Aquamonsters and is a member of the Davis Chapter of the National Charity League.
For her next competition, she will travel to Glendale to represent the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys in the CAPMT state competition. During the summer, she will compete and study piano at the Orfeo Festival of Music in Italy.