John B. '22 With His Piano Teacher

For the past twelve years, John Balian ’22 has practiced, performed, and competed as a pianist at the Music Fest Rising Talents Competition with hopes of performing at Carnegie Hall. In his time as a pianist, he has performed at Carnegie Hall four times, his last performance at age eight. This spring, he took center stage once again to perform Clair de Lune after taking Grand Prix. 

John notes that no matter how many times he plays at Carnegie Hall, it never gets any less nerve-wracking. 

“It was a totally different experience than when I last performed when I was eight,” he said. “The part that I get the most nervous about is the judging because you aren’t just being judged on how you play your piece, you are being judged on showmanship, quality, articulation, memorization, manners, and even how you dress. I don’t get so nervous over my actual performance because I know how much time and effort I put into preparing for it.” 

John explains that performing comes naturally to him; here at Hun, he is a member of the advanced Jazz Band and always looks forward to performing at School concerts and the annual Parents’ Association Gala and Auction. 

Being a pianist has taught John several life lessons, but the most important he notes is that everyone defines hard work differently.

“Being a musician has really made me appreciate the idea of hard work a lot more than I ever thought,” he says. “Knowing I put months and months into a four minute piece shows me that hard work can come in many different shapes and sizes and we should never downplay our successes.” 

Next year, John is headed to Boston University on a pre-med track. He notes that in college he plans to pursue music in any avenue that allows him to express himself.

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