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Becoming a Collaborative Pianist with Nina Peraino

 Nina performing with CVHS Symphony at VMEA in Richmond, VA.

Nina Peraino is a graduating senior and has studied piano with Dr. Richardson for 8 years. She has had an exciting year of musical opportunities where she has shared her piano talents and become a versatile musician in collaborative piano settings.

Nina is not afraid of a challenge. She is interested in pieces beyond the standard classical piano repertoire, intrigued by their unique approaches to technique, artistry and expression. Nina's interest in modern music helped her prepare for a special opportunity last year where she was chosen to play orchestral piano for a newly composed work by a living composer.

Nina played the featured piano part in an orchestral suite, Three Melodic Portraits by Dr. Jake Kohut, with the Centreville High School Symphony. She performed at the Hylton Performing Arts Center and her school was chosen to play for the 2023 VMEA Conference in the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Centreville Orchestra at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, November 2023

Even though there is more pressure in a larger group performance setting, Nina says she thrives when playing music with others. "It's fun to see how the piano parts fit in with the rest of the orchestra. Even though it may be stressful sometimes, as I'm the only person on my part, I always have a good time making music." Nina enjoys other instruments too. When Nina isn't playing piano in her orchestra, she plays in the violin section with her classmates.

This spring she is continuing her collaborative piano with solo instrumentalists, learning the three movement Bassoon Sonata which she recorded with Dr. Jake Kohut, as well as the Romance by Max Bruch for viola solo which she will perform in late April at the Solo and Ensemble festival.

Bassoon Sonata No. 1 Cobalt Blue (Dr. Jake Kohut and Nina Peraino)

Nina also continues her solo piano practice and lessons with Dr. Michelle Richardson. She is gearing up for the spring recital in June where she will play the first movement of Grieg's Piano Sonata in E minor. She also enjoys playing piano duo with her brother; the two will be playing the Poulenc Sonata for 4 hands in June.

Nina is grateful for these experiences that have enriched her musical journey. "After doing all these accompanying opportunities I've realized solo piano playing is just as much of a team effort as playing with a full orchestra. I wouldn't be where I am today as a pianist without the support and guidance of Dr. Richardson well as my friends and family. Even if they might not be on stage with me it was a team effort to get me where I am today and I know there will always be people in the audience to support me like friends, family, and teachers."

Nina plans to attend George Mason University in the Fall. Way to go, Nina!!!!

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