Weiwen Ma, Pianist

Tuesday Musical Concert Review

......."If you hear that pianist Weiwen Ma is playing an engagement, run, don’t walk to hear her! Ravel’s “Une barque sur l’ocean” (The boat on the ocean) is one of Ravel’s pianistic masterpieces from the set of Miroirs. Ravel himself orchestrated this piece and today, Weiwen’s brilliant performance truly supported the notion that piano is an orchestral instrument with its multitude of colorful timbres and tones. About four measures into the performance; I simply put down my pad and paper and closed my eyes to heighten my listening capacity, as it was evident that there was rare and magical musical event being offered. We were awe struck by the liquidity and facility of Ms. Ma’s right hand, whose scintillating personality exemplified the true French style, and more specifically Ravel’s pianistic style. 

During a visit after the program, Weiwen shared that her favorite composer has always been Chopin. Her interpretation of the fourth Scherzo revealed her love affair with the composer and this virtuosic masterpiece. One of the many challenges of being a pianist is that one has to deal with the personality, action and size of whatever instrument they are presented with at a given venue. I’m still not sure how Weiwen physically created the sophistication and finesse required to command the technical and musical magnitude of the Ravel or Chopin on an instrument whose tonal capacity and action were, shall we respectfully say, “Limited…” That is the signature of a fine artist. "

Hudson Life magazine.

 

Award-Winning Pianist Calls hudson home, Performs for local Crowd
 
 
 
Last month local music aficionados were treated to a free concert by accomplished pianist and Hudson resident Weiwen Ma at St. Mary

 

Anyone who attended Weiwen Ma’s captivating piano concert recently at St. Mary Catholic Church would be surprised by her first piano teacher’s predictions. He told her family she would never excel in piano because of her “soft fingers.” 

At the time, Ma was 4 years old and taking group lessons in Shanghai. Ma said that her father, a music lover who sang every day, was undaunted by her teacher’s prediction/ He worked hard to acquire a piano – a real luxury for their family – and enrolled her in private lessons with a more accepting teacher.

Her father’s dedication seems to have paid off. Ma, who lives in Hudson, is an accomplished pianist with a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Ma said that there were moments during elementary school when, like many kids, she got frustrated with having to practice every day, but now she said, “playing piano is in my blood.” Ma said that she feels compelled to play each day and feels guilty at the thought of not practicing. She described playing piano as her passion and claimed she cannot imagine doing anything else.

Ma decided to devote her life to piano after enrolling in a professional music school at age 12. Being surrounded by other musicians and having the opportunity to perform frequently in venues like the Shanghai Concert Hall and the Shanghai Grande Theatre was inspiring “

Piano became my whole life,” Ma said.She and her friends talked about music incessantly, and Ma benefited from the constant exposure to music. When practicing for performances, she learned her friend’s pieces as well as her own.

Ma has won numerous awards, including first place at the Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Piano Competition, third prize at the First Chinese International Competition, first place at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in Manhattan and a scholarship award from Mannes College New School for Music. She has performed at the Town Hall in Manhattan and Carnegie Hall.

Today Ma teaches piano at the Aurora School of Music and students can expect to do “serious work in a fun way.' Last month local music aficionados were treated to a free concert by accomplished pianist and Hudson resident Weiwen Ma at St. Mary. Aurora school of Music and at Skyline Music in Westlake and has less time to prepare for competitions. But, she calls teaching her “therapy” and finds it rewarding to work with students who range in age from 4 to 60.

Ma spoke highly about the Aurora School of Music’s commitment to working with children, explaining that the school is unique in its approach to teaching young children. She said that her students can expect to do “serious work in a fun way."