Stella Lu ready for Pataka concert
The chance to perform live doesn’t come as often as Stella Lu would like.
The 15-year-old accomplished pianist from Newlands will be first cab off the rank for Pataka Friends winter music series, performing on July 19.
She began learning piano at 4, passed grade 8 with distinction in 2012 and takes part in several programmes, chamber groups and bands.
Stella has won a slew of awards in her short career and can play a range of instruments, including the violin, flute and traditional Chinese string instruments.
Piano is her first true love, however.
‘‘It’s just something I absolutely enjoy – I love the artistry of the piano,’’ she said. ‘‘I was learning piano before I learnt English.’’
Stella said she relished the chance to show her skills in front of an audience.
She came to classical music audiences’ attention this year, organising and performing two solo concerts at St Andrew’s on the Terrace to raise money for Unicef.
The Helen Smith Room at Pataka might be on a smaller scale, but Stella is grateful to have the opportunity to keep playing live.
She had exams coming up and this was brilliant practice, she said.
‘‘ It’s difficult for young musicians, because the industry is small. For me, it’s good to get that boost of confidence. But it is nerve-wracking because all the mistakes are mine.’’
Stella has yet to refine her choices for the concert, but said they would span hundreds of years, from Bach to modern jazz. She hoped to perform an entire Beethoven sonata.
She has found time to practise piano around a slew of extracur- ricular activities, that include pure mathematics, ballet, painting, linguistics and teaching herself Latin.
Barbara Marshall, one of the organisers of the series, said it was a chance to promote young musicians and expose Porirua music-lovers to a wide array of talent from the region.
‘‘These young people are learning and studying, so this is a great chance for them to perform publicly,’’ she said. ‘‘For us in the audience, it’s nice to get out on a Sunday afternoon in the winter.’’
Other performances during the Pataka series will be Aotea Barbershop Quartet (July 26), Crofton Flute Ensemble (August 2) and students from the New Zealand School of Music (August 9).
Each concert starts at 2.30pm, goes for an hour and costs $5 to attend unless you’re a member of Pataka Friends.
Stella Lu will be the first performer on stage at the Pataka Friends winter concert next month.