The cello might stand almost as tall as she does, but Mika Kurosawa is in total control of it.
At just 10, she already knows she wants to travel the world playing music – a dream that, next month, gets a major boost. The Year 6 Diocesan School for Girls pupil is heading to New York to play at Carnegie Hall accompanied by fellow pupil and cellist Eva Wu, 13.
The two were awarded second places in the American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition, open to school students and adults all over the world who enter by submitting videoed recordings of themselves.
They are thought to be the only New Zealand music students who placed in the junior section of the competition, earning them the chance to perform at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall alongside other budding musicians from all over the world.
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Carnegie Hall opened in New York in 1891 and is regarded as one of the world's most prestigious classical and pop music venues. Though the Weill is the smallest of its three venues, with just 268 seats, it is the place where many aspiring musicians get their start.
Eva says it's exciting and a privilege to play there; Mika says she can't wait because she's never played in a professional concert hall outside of school before. Both are continuing to practise up to one and a half hours every day in preparation for the New York shows.
While Mika returns to Auckland after the trip, Eva will fly to Switzerland for a summer music camp hosted by the performing arts school, The Julliard. A third Diocesan pupil, Ella Zhang, will also be in New York participating in performances run by the Talented Young Musician Olympia competition.