While the Bishop Montgomery basketball team was off to Sacramento winning a state title, another exciting event was taking place 3,000 miles away. BMHS junior Amy King ’18 was playing piano in New York’s famous Carnegie Hall in the International Competition of Romantic Music. Playing Gretchen am Spinnrade by Liszt, King was a Second Place Winner in her age-group category.
To get to Carnegie Hall, King, who has been playing piano for ten years, was required to submit an audition tape of the piece she intended to play. Soon after her March performance, King re-entered the same competition, only this time with a different piece, Chopin’s Nocturne op. 48, no. 1 in C minor. After coming in second place again, King received an invitation to play this piece in July of 2017. For both competitions, King was chosen from a pool of over 300 applicants. The entire process, and the experience of playing at Carnegie Hall, was not at all lost on the talented 16-year old from Torrance. “It was not the largest audience I have played in front of,” said King, “but it was certainly the most extravagant place I’ve played.”
Although King has played piano and performed since she was six, performing in front of an audience is, she admits, not something with which she is always comfortable. “I was nervous,” admits King, “After all, it is Carnegie Hall.” Despite her nerves, King admits that she thought she performed better than she thought she would and that the more she performs in front of an audience, the easier it has become. “Every time I perform, I have anxiety,” says King. “I am getting better at preparing myself for dealing with the nerves.”
If her recent performance at Carnegie Hall was not demanding enough, King is working on an even more challenging piece for a different international competition in New York – Liszt’s Wilde Jagd, which she says is “the most difficult piece I have ever learned.” Translated as “the hunt,” Wilde Jagd is an appropriate piece for King to tackle. She is a young woman who takes a tremendous amount of pride in playing her best at all times and aspires to study music in college. Her ultimate goal is to be a composer. “Specifically, I want to score music for films,” says King.
To watch her video submission for the International Competition of Romantic Music, click here.