Senior Concerto Winner: Eden Cui ’19 Cultivates Love for Piano and Classical Music

Each year, select Seniors perform solos at orchestral concerts, accompanied by the Academy Orchestras. This year’s Senior Concerto winners are Eden Cui, Angelreana Choi, Shyan Koul, and Christina Cho. Several other musicians will be featured in a concert, accompanied by piano, including Jenni Lawson, Jonathan Lin, Mona Suzuki, Claire Lee, Will Duan, and Chloe Choi.

M.Zhang/The Phillipian

Eden Cui ’19 began her piano career at age six.

Standing onstage before her first student recital, Eden Cui ’19 trembled at the prospect of performing at Andover for the first time. But, with the support of her best friend, she mustered the courage to perform Frédéric Chopin’s “Raindrop” Prelude on the piano.

“[My best friend] was just sitting there listening, [and] that moment really just got me thinking, ‘I can make people happy and enjoy something that I play.’ My favorite moment is when my friends are looking at me [and] they’re listening; just them being there really makes me want to play music so much more than doing it alone,” said Cui.

Although Cui started learning to play the piano at age six, she has grown more attached to the instrument since coming to Andover. According to Cui, music helps her meditate and destress.

“I feel like [the piano is] something that, later on, you realize it’s such an important part of you. Before coming to Andover, it’s just been something where I always had to practice. But after I came, I realized that it’s not like that at all, because nobody forces you to practice piano here. That’s exactly what got me so attached to [the piano],” said Cui.

For her Senior Concerto, Cui will be playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major. In general, she loves classical music and enjoys playing Mozart’s pieces the most because the pieces speak to her in a unique way

M.Zhang/The Phillipian

Cui’s time at Andover allowed her to realize her passion for playing piano and further develop her artistry.

“From my experience, Mozart is not that complicated. It’s actually really simplistic, but it’s very hard to get it so musical. A lot of people think of Mozart as just simply rhythmic and boring, the same kind of formulaic tune. But to me, it’s so much more,” said Cui.

She started learning the piece last winter and practiced throughout Spring Term and over the summer. According to Cui, she constantly reminded herself to stay focused and keep giving her best.

Cui said, “It has been really hard sometimes to make it sound the way I want it to sound or the way I imagine it would sound. But, I guess what I learned about myself is that if you always remind yourself about a goal that you have, or something you have ahead of you, you can just keep it up.”