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Lower Merion School District


Harriton Pianist Selected to Perform at London's Royal Albert Hall
Harriton Pianist Selected to Perform at London's Royal Albert Hall

Harriton High School sophomore musician Sonia Gomes has been invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London based on her submission to the Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition – an international music contest open to all nationalities and ages in strings, piano, wind, vocal and chamber music. The concert is currently scheduled for the 2021-2022 season pending the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When the time comes, Gomes will be performing Rachmaninoff Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 3. No. 2. on piano.

The competition attracted applicants from 71 countries spanning the globe (as well as the alphabet) from Albania to Vietnam. This highly selective contest offers the opportunity for young artists to debut in the most prestigious venues in Europe such as the Gläserner Saal, Musikverein (Vienna, Austria), Kleine Zaal, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Paris National Opera "La Bastille" (Paris, France), Paris Cité de la Musique (Paris, France), Teatro Studio in Parco della Musica (Rome, Italy), BOZAR Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels, Belgium) or Wiener Saal, Mozarteun (Salzburg, Austria) and the Elgar Room and Royal Albert Hall (London/UK).

Gomes has been playing piano for more than decade. Since the age of six, she has developed her love of music, taking lessons and participating in concert band at Belmont Hills, Welsh Valley and now Harriton, where she also plays the trumpet. Her first piano competition led her to play at Carnegie Hall in fourth grade, where she performed Beethoven's Sonatina Anh. 5, No. 2. She would perform there four more times, winning various piano competitions sponsored by the Elite International Competition based. Only in fifth grade, when she broke her hand, was she unable to perform. Most recently, she has played in Boston and will play in Toronto later this year. Now, at the age of sixteen, she has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall again, but due to COVID-19, the dates have been postponed.

With the nature of blended learning and spending lots of time at home, applications to international piano competitions have been made much more accessible as participants are only required to send videos rather than audition live. Gomes took advantage of this extra time at home, submitting several video applications. Her hard work paid off, and she is now looking forward to performing Rachmaninoff Prelude in C sharp Minor, Op. 3, No. 2. in London in the coming year. Click play below to hear Gomes in action!

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