“I’ve always dreamed of performing at Carnegie Hall one day as a member of an orchestra or as a member of a chamber group, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to perform there as a soloist,” says Jessica Wu ’13.
The Winsor junior’s dream came true on March 31, 2012, when she performed at “one of the most celebrated music halls in the world.”
After sending in her audition for the American Protégé International Concerto Competition, which is open to young musicians from around the world, she was selected by the judges as a second place winner in the age 13-17 category for playing at “an exceptional level.”
Jessica says she was “so thrilled” for the opportunity to perform at the Winners’ Concert, where she played excerpts from Maurice Ravel’s “Tzigane.” (Listen to her CD recording here.) She also treated Winsor to this piece at assembly on April 5.
In the past, Jessica has earned honors in competitions sponsored by the New England Conservatory, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Rhode Island Philharmonic. Currently, she is a first violinist in the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and also participates in chamber music groups, recitals and master classes.
Jessica says she enjoys practicing as a way to unwind from her day, rather than using downtime for TV or Facebook. While this is therapeutic, she notes that her favorite aspect of playing is sharing music with children. This past summer, she and her brother started the group Violins of Hope, “with the goal of introducing classical music to disadvantaged and disabled children throughout Massachusetts.” So far, they have performed at several non-profits and hospitals, and this summer, they aim to increase their schedule and raise money for an organization that funds pediatric cancer research.
Later this spring, Jessica will partner with a fellow “Winsorian,” Ariadne Daskalakis ’87, an international concert violinist celebrating her 25th Winsor reunion. At the school’s Alumnae Weekend on May 11, 2012, the duo will perform Bach’s “Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor.”
“Playing the violin,” she says, “transports me into a world where everything is possible.” It seems that for Jessica, the possibilities are endless.