Anita Pari, Pre-College Piano
This is of a Pied-billed Grebe I took while visiting the Everglades in Florida with my dad in January 2012. (We decided to take a day off during our trip to Miami for my university audition!)
Born in San Diego, raised in Ottawa, and soon to begin a Bachelor of Music at the Frost School of Music in Miami with internationally renowned Cuban-American pianist Santiago Rodriguez, 14-year-old Anita Pari's dream of a life in music is becoming reality. A winner in international and national competitions in piano, cello and composition, and of four gold medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Anita's orchestral debut playing Saint-Saëns with the Lancaster Symphony, Pennsylvania, is slated for February 2013. She studies piano with Andrew Tunis, University of Ottawa, and cello with Anne Contant, Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau.
Anna Wood (AW): What got you interested in Music?
Anita Pari (AP): When my older sister Cristella was 6 years old, my parents thought it was time for her to start music lessons. So they decided to enroll her in a group class called Music for Young Children, which explored basic piano playing skills and music theory concepts. I was only 3 years old at the time, but since I was doing well in academic subjects and could already read English, my parents took me along with my sister to try it. I liked the program a lot and I quickly became interested in music after that!
AW: What is your favorite instrument?
AP: My favorite instrument is the piano. Since I play piano and cello (I am the pianist in the Pre-college division of YAP this year, but I will also participate in the group ensemble on cello with all the Pre-college musicians), sometimes I have a hard time choosing which one I like more! I have a slight preference for piano because of all the effects that can be produced with the sound, and being able to play many different colors and textures at the same time.
AW: You attended Summer Music Institute last year; for you, what is the best part of the Young Artist Program?
AP: For me, the best part of YAP was playing chamber music with the other young musicians and making friends in music. Last summer at YAP was the first time I was with so many musicians my age, and I found it to be motivating and productive. It was very special to spend two weeks with such talented musicians and wonderful people, and I look forward to returning to the same environment this year!
AW: What is your favorite thing about Ottawa?
AP: I have been going to the NAC regularly for a few years now and I would have to say that it is one of my favorite parts of Ottawa. Many of the concerts were magical experiences that I will always remember, and provided sources of inspiration for me.
AW: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not practicing?
AP: I have many things I like to do when I'm not practicing! Composing music has been one of my main focuses for the last few years and I try to compose a little bit every day. Up to now I have composed music for solo piano, choir, and chamber ensembles. Also, for something not music-related, I enjoy bird watching and nature photography! (see one of Anita's photos above)
AW: Is there something that acts as an inspiration to you?
AP: I am fortunate to have had two very inspiring music teachers over the past few years: Andrew Tunis of the University of Ottawa (piano) and Anne Contant of the Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau (cello).They have both been my mentors and friends and always offered me excellent musical guidance. In August this year, I will begin my Bachelor's degree at the University of Miami with Cuban-American pianist Santiago Rodriguez. I worked with him last summer at a Pennsylvania music festival and he was the main reason I decided to apply to the university. Since my time with him last summer, he has also been a great inspiration in my musical studies.
AW: Top three songs you just can’t stop listening to lately!
AP: I listen to Classical music on the radio whenever I am in the car, on my way to various music lessons! I enjoy hearing new repertoire that I am not familiar with and listening to great performances of the classics!