Stella Lu ready for Pataka con­cert

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Stella Lu will be the first per­former on stage at the Pataka Friends win­ter con­cert next month.

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