Playing at the venerable Carnegie Hall in New York usually requires one to be a world-class musician, so when Tian Jiaxin made her debut, she wanted to make the right choice in music selection. “Binga Binga” was a piece written and given to her as a giftt by Chinese composer Zhang Shuai. The 26-year-old felt that she was able to relate well with the choice as it talks about finding that balance in life.

“Jiaxin has the special talent to connect her feeling and heart to her fingers. Piano is a medium. You will know her when you hear her play,” explained Jeffrey Cohen, her teacher at Manhattan School of Music. He was rather accurate in his statement as she managed to leave an impression on many audience members. Some of them even approached her after the show to shake her hand and express their appreciation of her work. “I shouldn’t say this, but she is great,” stated a woman who worked at Carnegie Hall and chose to remain anonymous.

During the post-concert reception, Jiaxin mentioned that it was an unforgettable experience playing in the world-famous concert hall. “My dream has come true! The feeling on-stage is fantastic. I love it,” she exclaimed. Last year in June, Jiaxin was playing with the New York Concert Artists (NYCA) Symphony Orchestra under the baton of renowned conductor Kazuo Kanemaki. From that performance, it prompted the New York Concert Review to praise Jiaxin’s “oneness with the technical nuts and bolts,” but also to note that her “unwavering passion and commitment to the work” brought her playing “to a higher level.”

Some Chinese media have also compared her with pianist Lang Lang, a comparison which she understandably finds extremely gratifying. “Lang Lang presents a great symbol for Chinese pianists,” she said. Unlike many famous Chinese prodigies who tend to embark on a musical path that includes intensive conservatory training by the tender age of 3, Jiaxin herself, like most other children, went to elementary school, middle school and high school. “I experienced a lot of things which I may not have been able to experience if I went to music conservatories. My performance is based on those experiences, more or less,” she stated. If you would like to read the entire story, you can do so here.

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