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Kristin Tutino
Creative Services Department


Press Releases

Sunday, February 13 at 7 p.m. – On A Personal Note

(Rochester, NY) WXXI is proud to be the presenting station for On a Personal Note, a film that takes viewers behind the scenes of the Fourth New York Piano Competition (2008). The film presents an up close look at the talented young pianists (ages 14-18) who participate in an unusual five-day no eliminations piano contest that seeks to minimize the often unproductive competitiveness of traditional piano competitions. On A Personal Note, premieres Sunday, February 13 at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), and on public television stations across the country.

The relationship between very young and gifted classical pianists and their art is explored in this perceptive documentary, against the setting of the 2008 New York Piano Competition. Particular attention is focused on factors that influence a pianist’s performance–his or her own personality, the printed score, and in many cases the recorded performances of renowned pianists past and present.

On A Personal Note also addresses some of the larger issues facing the contemporary world of classical music: How can young pianists make a real contribution to such an old and established art form? What drives a young musician to endure daily hours of rigorous training and practice in search of personal expression and identity? How can one interpret a new work that has no performance history? Why classical music–at all–today?

On a Personal Note completes the trilogy of documentaries about the New York Piano Competition; the first two, Speaking with Music and Beyond the Practice Room, also under the executive directorship of The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation and directed by Lucy Bruell, were previously aired nationwide on public television.

New York Piano Competition Contestants include: Heejin An, New Jersey; Eva Belmont, Massachusetts; Ariel Borensztein. Massachusetts; Maile Cha, Hawaii;Vivian Cheng, North Carolina; Yoon Sung Emily Choi, New Jersey; Andrew Chou, Michigan; Emiko Edwards, New Jersey; Risa Kaneko, Virginia; Christine Kim, California; Eloise Kim, Oregon; Yesse Kim, Michigan; Connie Kim-Sheng, California; Patricio Molina, New Jersey; Leann Osterkamp, Colorado; Michael Stewart, Utah; T.J. Tario, Hawaii; Alan Woo, Virginia; Xiaopei Xu, Pennsylvania; Allen Yueh, New Jersey; Fifi Zhang, Virginia; and Xuan Zhang, California.


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.