I am Tin-Wai Lai from Hong Kong, currently a second year student in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majoring in Viola. This June, it was my great honour to be sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels to participate in the prestigious Rome Chamber Music Festival, where students had the opportunities to rehearse and perform together with famous coaches from all around the world in the Palace Barberini.
In this festival, I played the Dvorak Sextet along with three other students coached by Ms. Rebecca Albers and Ms. Julie Albers. Since we only had less than a week’s time to prepare the whole piece, we worked very hard every day to play the best out of ourselves. I learnt a lot in every rehearsal, not only the knowledge of music, but also how to communicate with different people, as well as how to come up with an idea that everyone would agree.
In addition, I was chosen to play in the master class conducted by the three viola teachers in this festival, namely Ms. Hsin-Yun Huang who is a teacher from the renowned Curtis Institute of Music, as well as Ms. Rebecca Albers and Mr. Luca Sanzo. I had a chance to play in front of them and other students. They all gave me many valuable comments, which helped me to improve myself even better. It’s really a very rare chance for me to get to know different styles of interpreting a piece.
The performance was really a huge success, and I enjoyed it very much. This was truly a fascinating and unforgettable experience, because I had the chance to work with international students from Italy, Brazil, Poland and America, and we exchanged our views about music and different cultures.
Lastly, I would like to give huge thanks to the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels which helped me a lot in arranging everything, made my trip an extremely smooth and enjoyable one and most importantly, marked a difference in my journey to professional musicianship.