Trisha Tran ’23 Performs at International Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall



Trisha Tran ’23 performs a piano piece at Carnegie Hall.

Here at Montrose, there are not many opportunities for classical pianists to showcase their talent, so it is always a surprise when you hear beautiful piano playing from somewhere in the school and look around the corner to find someone you don’t expect. Last month, Trisha Tran ’23 performed in an international piano competition at Carnegie Hall and won first place. You may have heard her practicing around the school the week before the semi-formal (which she had to miss), drilling her piece as many times as possible before the big day. 

Trisha said: “I will admit, it was nerve wracking at first because I didn’t have a piano to practice on [in New York] until that day and, the thing is, I sort of panicked. But then I got the chance to practice at one of the backstage pianos in Carnegie Hall, so it was fine.”

For her, one of the best parts was making new friends, which just goes to show how universal the language of music is. She said: “At the beginning, it was awkward and none of us knew each other. We were all focused on the instructions that the managers were telling us, but then we were all nervous at the same time and we needed to let our nervous energy out. Community in general helps with human flourishing, because as Aristotle said, we need relationships to be happy in life.”

Trisha started playing when she was only five years old. We asked her what got her into piano in the first place, and she said: “My parents encouraged me. You can say that I was inspired by my dad’s musical talents because he plays the guitar, so I thought: why not play the piano? I’ve also been a fan of classical music in general when I was younger, so I wanted to make my way up to having the ability to do that. And just overall, music comforted me.” 

Trisha has had many different piano teachers over the years to guide and accompany her on her musical journey. All of them have taught her different things using different teaching styles, but one teacher in particular impacted her the most. She said: “The thing was my dad and I couldn’t find a teacher to motivate me until I met Christina, who I thought was a bad teacher at first because she was more on the strict side, but, because of tough love, she became one of my greatest inspirations.” Mastering an instrument takes a lot of discipline, which everyone taps into in a different way. Trisha changed teachers seven times, determined to find one who worked best with her. Throughout it all, she has been dedicated to mastering her craft.

Besides piano, Trisha enjoys creating art both digitally and on paper. Also, before she came to Montrose, much of her time was spent practicing ballroom dancing. In addition to her creative interests, Trisha has a passion for math and computer science. Russian Math has been an integral part of her life since childhood. How does one have time to manage school, relationships, and extracurriculars? According to Trisha, finding the perfect balance is always going to be hard. However, with the right people to support you, it is doable. She said:  “Montrose teachers are kind enough to have extensions on assignments, and I’m so grateful for the community.” By establishing her priorities and with the support of her community, Trisha has been able to accomplish her goals.

Finally, we then asked her what message she had for aspiring musicians or artists. She said: “Don’t give up hope, and continue working hard for your dreams because I’ve been wanting to go to Carnegie Hall since I was in 8th grade. I took my time working to get where I am.” It’s amazing that she fulfilled her dreams so early in her piano career! Her final words of wisdom were: “Believe in the process even though there are challenges: you need challenges in order to flourish.” Trisha will surely achieve great things in the future, with belief in herself and the process, of course. 

Click here if you would like to watch her audition video!

Elizabeth Barrett ’23 and Elyza Tuan ’23, Staff Writer and Co-Assistant Editor-in-Chief,