11-year-old pianist recalls experience performing at Carnegie Hall

Saint Mary's Hall student started playing at age 3

By Max Massey - Reporter/Anchor, Azian Bermea - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A local 11-year-old piano prodigy has already played at New York City's Carnegie Hall, gracing the bright stage with her talent.

The talented student at Saint Mary's Hall spoke about the experience, and her background, Thursday.

"I started playing piano when I was 3 and I played it because it made me feel happy and I like music a lot," Anna Szalai said. " ... I practice every day for an hour. Sometimes I practice for an hour and thirty minutes, but that's only if I have a concert the next day."

Performing in front of a crowd isn't always easy.

"At first it feels a little scary if you're in front of a big crowd, but then you relax because you know that they're cheering you on and they don't want you to mess up," Anna said. "They just want to hear how beautiful the piece is."

Anna's performance took place at the 2018 Golden Classical Music Awards, which was an international competition. She won first place in her category.

"It's really interesting the whole time, and Carnegie Hall is a really beautiful place with big chandeliers everywhere and it makes you feel happy and proud that you made it really far, because it's a big accomplishment to do it," Anna said.

Anna has played in many competitions. With each song, she's learning more and more.

"Almost everybody wants you to perform and be yourself -- just express your music, because it makes you happy, and they just want you to express how you're feeling and they understand," Anna said.

She keeps reaching her goals on the piano and has big aspirations for the future.

"When I grow up, I might be a pianist, or an artist, or an author too," she said.

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