UST piano student receives pointers from top concert pianist
Michelle Shannahan, a junior music major, represented UST as a performer and participant in the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium Piano Masterclass on Friday, April 25 at College of the Mainland in Galveston. She was chosen by an audition committee and performed the Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15, No. 1, by Frederic Chopin for the guest artist, internationally renowned pianist Hsia-Jung Chang.
During the Masterclass, Shannahan and six other student participants benefited from direct instruction and critiques from Hsia-Jung Chang.
A native of Taiwan, pianist Hsia-Jung Chang has premiered and commissioned numerous works by composers in the United States and Scandinavia. She was featured soloist on television and radio in the US and abroad. Chang has been guest lecturer at the Manhattan School of Music, Society for Ethical Culture, Duke University, Friends University, Seattle Young Artist Festival, Hong Kong Music and Speech Festival, the Shengyang Music Conservatory, and Dong Bei University of China. She also performed with the Metropolitan Opera Guild Outreach, introducing opera to children in schools of the greater New York area.
Shannahan said the experience was valuable to her progress as a musician.
“(Hsia-Jung Chang) is so well known, and this was an incredible opportunity to get first-hand advice from an expert and a top concert pianist,” Shannahan said.
Shannahan is also a finalist in the Texas Music Teachers Association Collegiate Young Artists Competition and will be competing at the state convention in June as one of five state finalists. Shannahan is a piano student of Paul Krystofiak, adjunct professor and director of the UST Piano Camp.
“The Masterclass will enable me to perform at a higher level. I will be able to take the advice she gave me on that one piece and apply it to all the pieces I perform at the competition in June,” Shannahan said.