When the Steinway Society presents a sold-out recital by Kate Liu this Saturday night at San Jose’s Trianon Theatre, she’ll play works by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and Prokofiev. For a couple of years, the prize-winning Singapore-born pianist was recovering from a hand injury that curtailed her performances.

There’s more information at the Steinway Society website.

Kate Liu has won the New York International Piano and the Asia-Pacific International Chopin Competitions, and got the Bronze Medal in Warsaw at the Chopin Competition there. For all of her wins, though, she says the purpose of taking part in competitions has changed for her over the years. “I think when one is much younger, these competitions are kind of exciting – they’re sort of a thing to look forward to, and to work your way up… I’ve always treated competitions as a way to improve, and I think for many that is the way, and it’s the healthy way, really. To do well, you can’t really have the thought of ‘competing’ in your mind to advance you musically. The music has to advance by itself, in your interest, and your love for whatever it is you’re playing, and for whatever it is that you’re investing all your emotion into.” Her injury is behind her now, but for two years it was a considerable disruption. “I had to work really, really hard to get back on track with the right sort of positions, the right sort of relaxation, less tension… Because when you get any sort of injury in your hands, and you’re a pianist or any sort of instrumentalist, it kind of freaks you out for a very long time, because you’ll never know how it’s going to affect you, and the moment when it happens, you also sort of fear that you’re never going to be able to play again.”

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