The only way to get to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice. And by walking on 7th Avenue. Carnegie Hall in New York City is one of the most famous performance halls in the world, and it is an extremely prestigious honor to play there. 

In November, Isabella Stravoiu, Governor Livingston sophomore, auditioned for Elite International Music Competitions, a non-profit international organization that encourages young musicians to invest their time in the musical arts, and was one of the thirty musicians chosen to bring her talents to Carnegie Hall on March 1. 

Elite International Music Competitions holds auditions every year for performers from ages 6-22. These artists can play either piano, violin, guitar, cello, or sing. Those who do well in the competitions have the opportunity to perform all over the world. Stravoiu, who has been playing piano since fourth grade, started performing in this competition when she was ten. 

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“I began to learn piano because I wanted to explore a new type of musical instrument,” she said.

Stravoiu was a violinist in her elementary school orchestra. She fostered her love of music through violin, but decided to step out of her comfort zone six years ago. After mastering the piano, Stravoiu gave up playing the violin, which turned out to be a good decision, as shown in her achievement.

For her audition, Stravoiu auditioned before a Juilliard alumni who rated her skills. “The audition process was stressful because I did not have a lot of practice time,” Straviou said. However, her passion and ability shone through as they chose her to perform. 

Stravoiu’s performance was one of the last of the day. She said, “I was really nervous, especially since my sister went before me and performed well, so I had some added pressure.” 

In past performances, she usually performed during the beginning of the show, therefore her later performance time added to her nerves.

Isabella played “Waltz” by J. Saveliev for the audience and the audience and judges were blown away by her performance. She said “I did really well, got first place, and received a money prize.” This was her favorite part of the whole experience. 

Overall, Stravoiu is proud of her performance and is extremely happy with her achievement. She is also looking forward to being a part of this competition again next year. Although she is not sure of where her piano journey will take her, she will always love playing piano.