Overland Park Orchestra introduces 17-year-old Chinese pianist for winter concert

Leah Wankum - February 11, 2019 9:00 am
Overland Park Orchestra music director Shah Sadikov.

When the music director of the Overland Park Orchestra heard Qi Qi playing a Tchaikovsky piece, he knew she was “absolutely brilliant” for the part.

Shah (Shokhrukh) Sadikov, music director of the orchestra, heard the 17-year-old playing under the direction of Stanislav Ioudenitch.

“We were happy to be able to find such a soloist,” Sadikov said. “It’s a great opportunity for her to collaborate with such an exciting orchestra like Overland Park. It’s a great opportunity for her to play a new concerto that she recently learned. Meanwhile, it’s a great opportunity for us to introduce and present a young soloist that is in our area.”

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Overland Park Orchestra Winter Concert

• 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23
• Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Ave.
• The concert is free and open to the public

As the feature pianist, Qi will perform with the Overland Park Orchestra for its annual winter concert later this month. Qi will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1, a 37-minute-long piece with four movements.

“It’s exciting but intense,” Qi said, adding that she was shocked to learn that Sadikov wanted her to perform for the winter concert. “I had only played the first movement for my instructor.”

Sadikov will lead the 60-strong orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony #6, “Pastoral,” as well. The title of the concert, “Pastoral,” is indicative of some of the themes the audience may encounter, he added.

“The word ‘pastoral’ can be interpreted in many different ways,” Sadikov said. “For nature people, it’s nature; in the Classical period, it also meant heroic. So the pieces have a certain character.

“Pastoral” is also the title of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony #6, Sadikov said, adding that the renowned German composer has been a big inspiration for his career.

“It’s a huge responsibility; I always imagined what would happen if Beethoven himself was in the audience and heard my interpretation,” Sadikov said.

The roughly 1 hour, 15 minute concert is set for at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. The concert is free, open to the public and sponsored by the City of Overland Park.

About feature pianist Qi Qi

Qi Qi, pianist at Young Artists Music Academy International Program. Submitted photo.

Born in GuangZhou, China, Qi now studies piano with Ioudenitch as part of the Young Artists Music Academy International Program. She studies at Barstow School in southern Kansas City.

She began playing the piano at age 5, and in 2014 was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music Middle School in Beijing, where she studied with Professor Dan Shao and Jin Zhang.

Qi has won first place in the Hong Kong International Invitation Piano Competition as well as the Open Piano Competition in Guangzhou. Over her 12-year career in piano, she has attended the Lake Como Summer Piano Academy, Minnesota International Piano Camp and Russian School Piano Academy in Shanghai.

Through these programs, she took master classes with such artists as Dmitri Bashkirov, Andrzej Jasiński, Dang Thai Son, William Grant Naboré, Mira Marchenko, Alexander Braginsky and Hyoung Joon Chang.

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