6-year-old plays Carnegie Hall - again

WV piano prodigy scores on international stage

A piano prodigy from West Vancouver will be performing at Carnegie Hall for the third time in a month after picking up awards in two international competitions.

Mulgrave School's Shuqi Li, 6, placed third in her age group at The American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition 2012 held at the prestigious New York City venue in early March, and has been invited back for a winners' concert finale on Easter Sunday. Li also took home a gold medal at the International Young Musicians Festival, Passion of Music 2012, put on by the American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented last month.

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She will be performing Celebrate Freedom by Yinghai Li at the upcoming show.

"She's pretty advanced," said Don Xu, whose wife instructs Li at their home school, Fafan Piano Studio. He noted that Li is performing at a Grade 6-7 level in piano.

"She's very mature for her age, she thinks a lot. . . . When my wife teaches her how to play she just watches and totally concentrates and follows instructions."

Xu and his wife Fafan Xiao spent weeks preparing Li for the competitions and perfecting her contest entries - a Youtube video of her playing. Needless to say, they were happy when they found out all the hard work had paid off.

"This is a very high level competition," said Xu. "We know some famous pianists that have been there."

As for Li, she said she's "not really" nervous about playing at one of the most well-known concert halls in the world.

"I was kind of excited," she said of her initial reaction to winning, but maintained a trip to Disney World was still the highlight of her spring break.

mkrishnan@nsnews.com

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