Parker pianist plays at Carnegie Hall


Francis Parker School student Megan Pai, Class of 2018, hit all the right notes at the American Fine Arts Festival’s 2015-16 season, leading to a stirring piano performance of Rachmaninov’s Prelude in G-sharp minor, opus 32, No. 12 at Carnegie Hall on June 18.

Opus 32 comprises 13 preludes for solo piano composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1910.

“We are so proud of Megan for being chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall. She is a wonderfully gifted young lady who is accomplished in so many areas of study,” said Jim Witt, Parker’s music department chair. “We are fortunate to have this talented and gracious individual share her music with us at Parker.”

The annual American Fine Arts Festival Competition in the piano, strings, winds, voice and chamber music categories is a lengthy process that includes live auditions in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and California, in addition to video auditions. Because of the demands on her time, Megan submitted her audition in a DVD format.

Top musicians in their class were invited to perform at Weill Recital Hall, an intimate, 268-seat venue in Carnegie Hall that is home each year to hundreds of recitals, chamber music concerts, and master classes.

Megan’s performance came during the Winners’ Recital Concert.

Megan, who plays violin for the Parker orchestra (and who has played for a California Youth Conservatory Theatre production of Les Miserables at the lyceum in San Diego), has been studying piano since she was 4. Soon after learning the basics from her mother and a neighborhood piano teacher, Megan began studying with Rinna Livshin, a San Diego instructor whose pupils have included local prodigies.

Besides playing the piano and violin, Megan is an accomplished writer and photographer who serves as art director for Parker’s student magazine, The Scribe.