Competition Winner Jessica Li – 2016 NVMTA

Student Jessica Li

Jessica Li is my student for 6 years. She started when she was 8. Great achievement to perform concerto by Grieg at age 14 and receive 1st place at March 2016 Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Piano Concerto Festival. I am very proud of my hardworking talented student.

Here is a video of Jessica playing the concerto, which we recorded after competitions. (NVMTA competition does not allow video recording.)  Please listen and comment if you feel so.

I will post another 1st place winner video soon.

Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto


The work is among Grieg’s earliest important works, written by the 24-year-old composer in 1868 in Søllerød, Denmark, during one of his visits there to benefit from the climate.

Grieg’s concerto is often compared to the Piano Concerto of Robert Schumann — it is in the same key, the opening descending flourish on the piano is similar, and the overall style is considered to be closer to Schumann than any other single composer. Incidentally, both wrote only one concerto for piano. Grieg had heard Schumann’s concerto played by Clara Schumann in Leipzig in 1858 (1859 is given by alternative sources), and was greatly influenced by Schumann’s style generally, having been taught the piano by Schumann’s friend, Ernst Ferdinand Wenzel.

Additionally, Grieg’s work provides evidence of his interest in Norwegian folk music; the opening flourish is based on the motif of a falling minor second followed by a falling major third, which is typical of the folk music of Grieg’s native country. This specific motif occurs in other works by Grieg, including the String Quartet No. 1. In the last movement of the concerto, similarities to the halling (a Norwegian folk dance) and imitations of the Hardanger fiddle (the Norwegian folk fiddle) have been detected.


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