Music Academy Spotlight: Aina Lu and Christy Wu

Aina Lu (left), 15, and Christy Wu (right), 15, are both in their first year studying piano with Fabio Bidini in the Music Academy. Aina is from Shenzhen, China, and Christy is from Taipei, Taiwan.

This interview has been lightly edited for style, content, and clarity.

Why did you decide to study at Colburn?
AL: At first, I applied to a lot of other schools and I didn’t know my dad applied for Colburn. My dad wanted me to try, but I said maybe, I don’t want to audition for too many schools. Then one day my dad told me, you got an email saying you can audition there, so I came here. But then I really liked Colburn.

CW: My aunt lives here, so my mom wanted me to live with them, so we came to Colburn. Colburn’s the most famous school in LA.

AL: I like the weather in LA and the atmosphere and environment at Colburn.

What has your favorite experience here been so far?
AL (laughing): The Colburn Café. Beef burger please.

CW: The Counterpointe performance. It’s pretty fun.

What piece are you doing for Counterpointe?
AL: We’re doing the Debussy with Antique Epigraphs.

Have you performed with dancers before?
AL: No, this is the first time. At the same time, we’re doing two pianos together. It’s really challenging and fun.

What are some of the challenges?
CW: We’ve never played with dancers before, so we have to get used to their steps.

AL: The rhythm is really important because they really need the downbeat.

CW: We need to communicate more with dancers.

AL: At the same time, we have to communicate with each other.

What was it like preparing for the performance?
AL: When we did the rehearsal, they put two pianos together so we can see each other’s hands. But in Zipper Hall, we are face to face so it’s harder to communicate.

CW: I can barely see her, just like the top of my head.

What have you learned from doing this?
AL: Counterpointe is an event where have to work together. Before, we played so many solo pieces where we only have to think about ourselves. Now, we have to take into account other people and what they do.

CW: When we’re playing our solo pieces, if it’s like a waltz or something we can just think of the dancers.

What do you like about chamber music?
CW: You get to know people. And I don’t get to know people well because I don’t live with them.

AL: I have other roommates who play bassoon and violin and I can hear them practice in the dorms. Other instruments can play together, but I can’t.

What do you want to do with your music in the future?
AL: Before, I loved to do solo. But now, I want to do chamber. Or I want to try to play with an orchestra sometime because I’ve never played with an orchestra and it’s really fun.

CW: I want to be a pianist, but I always get really nervous when I’m on stage.

AL: Same.

CW: But I think chamber is a good chance to be on stage where you won’t get nervous because you have friends with you.

The weekly Saturday Spotlight series highlights our outstanding students, faculty, and staff from across the school. Read other spotlight interviews.