Venezuelan piano student Alejandro Orta is living “a very artistic summer”

Alejandro Orta, a second-year piano student, had a summer of discovery in more ways than one.
Orta has prepared Frederic Chopin’s Ballade No. 4 for performance at the 2022 Piano Pedagogy Seminar and the Ohio Music Teachers Association State Conference. This piece is widely revered as one of the most difficult piano pieces in a standard repertoire, Orta explained.

“This summer has been very good for me to grow as a musician,” he said.

Orta prepared for two months to perform the song from memory and received feedback from star artist George Li, an internationally renowned pianist.

Orta also said that he attended Li’s concert and never felt anything like it.

“When you really feel in the room…you feel like you’re playing [even if] you’re not, Orta said.

Practicing over the summer allowed Orta to connect more to the music and feel the vibrations of the piano clearly, without the distractions that come with a normal semester on campus.

“It was an eye-opening thing for me,” he said.

Orta also studied piano repair with Ohio University piano technician Christopher Purdy, which helped him understand the internal structure and function of the instrument.

“Every piano sounds different,” said Orta, who, after years of trying, gained enough support and entry into the United States to attend Ohio University School of Music and his piano performance program, finally started as a freshman in 2021.

“Every concert you hear in your life is going to be different…I didn’t know that until the summer.”

Orta explained how not just playing — but understanding — the piano made him feel more connected to his artistic process. For him, the most important part of the process is the journey and the pain involved in learning and doing new things; the reward is not the goal.

“One of the worst mistakes is thinking about winning or losing and not having the feeling of adventure and play,” he said.

“Objectivity is about applying all our energy and effort to the task and enjoying the journey without focusing on the end result. Whether you win or lose, the important thing is to keep going and learn from experience, so as not to make the same mistakes again.

Orta said he views his practice as a wheel. Many people live outside the wheel, which represents wealth, power, pleasure and honor. The middle of the wheel represents the values ​​that enable artists to truly serve music.

“Being at the center means making music with love and humility,” he said.

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