A Valentine Tribute to Evan Lê
I personally do not play piano, but I play at the piano with my basic knowledge of the musical scale and chords. I am also a YouTube fanatic, and it was this fanaticism that allowed me to discover Evan Lê.
Unfortunately, many of his YouTube videos no longer allow comments in accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) enacted by the U.S. 105th Congress on April 21, 2000. In lieu of a Valentine's Day comment post, I write this article.
Note: Persons under the age of 13 are "children" by definition under COPPA.
The Video Behind the Valentine Day Greeting
Evan's First Posted Video (Age 3 Yrs, 10 Mos)
Why I Am a Fan of Evan Lê
I lived in Torrance, California, Evan's birthplace and residence, from 1989 until 2000.The City, sometimes regarded as a suburb of Los Angeles, served as my greatest experience for congenial family living. My elder daughter Christa graduated from Torrance High School, the site of the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210, and I birthed my younger daughter Ashley at Torrance Memorial Hospital in 1991.
Secondly, in watching this child's videos, I am inspired by how this young boy allows the music to flow through him, seemingly without effort. He has grace and poise. When I watch him take his bow at the end of a formal performance, I am reminded of the qualities and meaning of "gentleman."
As I had commented on one of Evan's older videos, I am a fan for life. (Yes, I am subscribed to his channel.)
The Story Behind Evan's Start
When Evan was only two and a half, his 5-year-old brother Brandon received a toy keyboard and began pouncing on the keyboard, as young boys are wont to do. When it was Evan's turn, he pressed the keys slowly and listened intently. On each key, he asked his dad, “What do you call this?” By the time Evan was three, he was able to listen to simple nursery rhymes and closely reproduce the songs by ear on an electric piano, at first with one hand and eventually with both. Neither of Evan's parents are musicians.
In December of 2014 Evan received his first piano lesson at Virtuoso Russian Music Academy (VRMA) in California from Ms. Tuong Van Nguyen, and, as of this writing, is under the tutelage of Miss Claudia Yun Xi of La Palma, California.
Evan's Awards as of Valentine's Day 2020
- Music Teachers' Association of California (MTAC) Piano Concerto - June 2016, 1st Place
- Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF) Piano Concerto - July 2016, 1st Place
- MTAC Piano Concerto - April 2017, 2nd Place
- MTAC Theme Festival - December 2017, 1st Place
- MTAC Piano Winners’ - December 2017, 1st Place
- MTAC State Piano Solo Competition - March 2018, 1st Honorable Mention
- SYMF Piano Concerto Competition - July 2018, 1st Place
- MTAC Piano Concerto - June 2019, 1st Place
- SYMF Piano Concerto - July 2019, 1st Place
The competitions are divided into age groups: Age 9 and Under, Age 11 and Under, Age 12 and Under, 13 and Under. The competitions are friendly to encourage young students to express their abilities.
Through Evan, I am indirectly living the life of the pianist that my mother, who was a talented accordionist and vocalist, wished I had become. She had regretted not giving me lessons and always wanted someone in the family to be able to play Chopin's "Till the End of Time." Mom passed away in 2009 without ever having heard a live piano performance in her home to fulfill her wish.
And so, with this Valentine tribute, Evan, I'll be watching and listening. Maybe, someday, I'll be able to attend one of your concerts and hear "Till the End of Time" in memory of my mother.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
© 2020 Marie Flint