Meet Kelly, soloist for UNSW Orchestra

Kelly Liu, pianist

We are pleased to introduce Kelly Liu, soloist for UNSW Orchestra's Term 3 Concert to you as we discuss her passions about music, her artistic process and performance anxiety.

You can watch her perform the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 with UNSW Orchestra at their concert 'Tableau Vivant' on the 10 November 2022, 7pm at Sir John Clancy Auditorium.


  1. Please introduce yourself!

Hi! My name is Kelly and I am a recent graduate of UNSW. I am a nature and animal lover, and of course I am a music lover too! Being a pianist is full of fun but also hsa a lot of challenges.

 2. How is the preparation process for the concerto? Why did you pick this specific concerto?

My preparation is at its final stage now, mainly on polishing and refining on phrases, especially the long phrases. I’m also experimenting some new techniques after my lesson yesterday. The reason why I picked this concerto is because I always adore and admire Chopin’s music. His musical language is so rich and unique and full of colours. Although some may argue about the orchestral part, both of his concertos are so beautifully written for the piano.

 3. Why are you passionate about music, and are there any musicians that inspire you?

 Music is emotional. It’s another world full of mysteries and wonders and I will never get tired exploring it. To me learning music is like a journey on discovering myself, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Most of my friends are musicians and I am inspired by them all, especially my piano friends from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. I learn so much from them and we help each other to grow.

 4. What is your favourite piece of music?

 Hm… It is hard to pick favourites, but I am certainly more drawn to music written in the Romantic period. Maybe that is why I chose the Chopin piano concerto!

 5. Which qualities do you think makes a great musician and why?

 Persistence, perseverance as well as good listening skills. I know how much patience it takes for me to sit at the piano for hours and hours a day, 365 days a year. It is almost like a religion, and you have to devote to it to achieve the sound you are after. Listening is also key because music is all about sound.

 6. If you could meet any musician--composer or performer, regardless of time, who would it be and why?

 If I was asked about this at different times the answers could be very different. But now I want to meet Chopin. I have recently finished a huge book about him and it’s called A Life and Times of Fryderyk Chopin. I am not just in love with his music but also the composer himself. If I could meet him, I would really love to hear him play this concerto. In fact, he played this concerto in its premiere back in 1830!

 7. Have you ever suffered from performance anxiety? How do you manage it?

This is a big topic. Yes I have and every time I perform I tend to get very nervous easily, so I try to take deep breaths before and during performances and keep singing the melodies and following the characters in my head while I play.

 8. What are you looking forward to the most during the rehearsal process in term 3?

 I look forward to every aspect of it, the most is probably the spontaneous communication between the orchestra and the piano, because each time we play it’s going to be slightly different. I really enjoy those parts where the orchestra and piano are interwoven and creating beautiful dialogues.

 9. Any words of advice for our students pursuing music as a career?

To be, being a musician and pursuing music as a career are two different things. Being a musician is a devotion to every piece you play, and you’ll find yourself spending an excessive amount of time and energy studying and analysing each piece. Taking music as a career comes with the financial and economic aspects of it.

My advice is, be a musician first.


Tickets to watch her play are still available. Click here to book!