Presser Scholar Corinne Penner to make debut at Carnegie Hall

Senior Music Performance major and Presser Scholar Corinne Penner won second prize and two special prizes at the Cremona International Competition for Pianists 2014 in Italy this summer and has been invited to perform on November 29 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York City.

Sep. 1, 2014 By Angela Wisdom

Senior Music Performance major and Presser Scholar Corinne Penner has been invited to perform later this year at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York City. After submitting a recording to the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition in January, she was selected as an Honorable Mention Winner and was invited to play in a winners' recital on November 29 at 3:30p.m.

“I am thrilled and honored to be able to perform in such a wonderful hall, and I am especially excited to hear what the sound is like,” says Penner. “ I think it will be a really special and enriching experience for me to be able to engage in music in such an incredible place.” She will be performing Maurice Ravel’s Alborada del gracioso, a piece that challenges the most refined pianists with its exceedingly quick tempo of repeated notes and beautiful color. It’s a piece that truly showcases the skill and elegance of Penner’s artistry.

In addition to the invitation to perform in New York City, Corinne spent time in Italy this summer with Dr. Li-shan Hung at the Cremona International Competition for Pianists July 12-28 where she won second prize and two special awards for Best Performance of an Italian Work and Best Performance of a Contemporary Work.


Corinne Penner and Dr. Hung after the winner's concert.



“It was wonderful to be surrounded by beautiful northern Italy and inspiring to be practicing, performing, and studying somewhere so rich in history and natural beauty,” says Penner. “In addition, it was a blessing to have Dr. Hung there to help prepare me for the performances!”

Her current repertoire includes:

Bach - Prelude and Fugue in F# Minor, WTC II

Beethoven - Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109

I. Vivace ma non troppo, Adagio espressivo

II. Prestissimo

Chopin - Barcarolle, Op. 60

Debussy - Etude No. 12 "pour les accords"

Ravel - Alborada del gracioso

Respighi - Valse Caressante

Corigliano - Fantasia on an Ostinato

“I think one of the best ways I can prepare for any competition is to make sure I am confident of who I am in Christ. With all the effort and work required in preparing, it's easy to equate my worth or even my usefulness to God with the final outcome,” says Penner. “But when I am aware that at my core I am a dearly loved child of God, I can practice and perform with peace, and I am better equipped to be a vessel of His light to others.”

Dr. Hung first met Corinne when she auditioned for the Conservatory in 2010 as a junior in high school performing the Haydn A-flat Major Sonata. “I was immediately impressed by her sensitivity and spontaneity,” remembers Hung. “Since she started attending Biola in Fall of 2011, it has been joy to witness her tremendous growth, reaching an even higher level of music making.”

Corinne was named a Presser Scholar for the 2014/2015 academic year for her outstanding contributions to the department in her time as a student at Biola. The Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award is an award underwritten by the Presser Foundation. It's given every year to an outstanding student majoring in music, at or near the end of the student's junior year. The following year that student is known as a "Presser Scholar." The entire music faculty selects the student who will receive the award, which is the top honor in the Conservatory.

"Corinne Penner is an exceptional talent who combines musicality, intellect, work ethic and a humble heart.   She ranks among the outstanding recipients of the Presser Award in my time at Biola” says Dr. George Boespflug, Director of the Conservatory of Music.

In her time at Biola, Corinne has naturally become a leader among her peers. She not only inspires the people around her to achieve a higher goal, but helps classmates that are behind to conquer difficulties. She has been described as humble, compassionate, and reliable. Above all, Corinne loves the Lord.

“There is a special worshipful tone in her playing that always touches people,” says Dr. Li-shan Hung. “One time after she played in a competition, I asked her how it went. Instead of saying ‘very well’ she replied, ‘That was one of the most worshipful experiences I have ever had!’ She exalted God through her playing. It is this sensitivity to the Lord and desire to exalt Him through her playing and through her growth as an artist that makes Corinne a role model at Biola Conservatory. We are blessed to have her.”

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