Keeping Your Eye on the Ball
By: Brooklynn Adelman, Houston Symphony Intern
There is a great connection between music and sports. The ability of both activities to sell out stadiums and halls, maintain a massive fan base, and bring communities together is outstanding. The dedication shown by athletes as they train for hours on end and meticulously maintain a healthy diet, and by musicians as they tirelessly rehearse and work in a practice room, is inspiring. According to Andrew Staupe, professional concert pianist and diehard Packers fan, “the commitment required for both musicians and athletes creates a special connection” between the two types of people. In completion of his recent Carnegie Hall debut and in preparation for the Ima Hogg semifinals, Andrew is no stranger to the practice room and truly understands the dedication necessary to be competitive and succeed. He made it to the semi-finals three years ago and is back now fighting for a spot in the finals and a chance to perform with the Houston Symphony.
Andrew grew up in a big family- one of five children- in St. Paul, Minnesota. His first piano lesson was at the age of six; however, as a six year old boy, practicing the piano was not the preferred after-school activity, so dreams of playing the piano were put on hold. His entire family was very involved in the arts, not only music, but ballet and theater as well. It was actually in a theater class that Andrew decided to commit to the piano. An adult actor performed a piece with the piano and Andrew, age ten, was in awe and decided he would begin lessons again. It was not until age 17 that Andrew began seriously practicing with the intent of becoming a professional pianist. He now holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in piano performance and is currently a D.M.A. candidate at Rice University. Andrew’s goal is not only to continue being a successful concert pianist, but to follow in the footsteps of his teachers Lydia Artymiw and Jon Kimura Parker in becoming a teacher as well.
When asked to tell his favorite musical joke, Andrew responds: “What do you get when you throw a piano down a mine shaft? A flat minor!”
Andrew is firm believer in maintaining a social life and a good sense of humor. Off the stage and outside of the practice room Andrew has a passion for the outdoors and frequently enjoys Hermann Park and playing Ultimate Frisbee. His best piece of advice to anyone visiting Houston is that, “You must eat, and eat, and eat!” and after much contemplation Andrew decided that Goode Co. was his number one pick.
Andrew has a special place in his heart for Houston and believes that this city is “home to world class orchestras and music schools”. Ultimately he hopes to be able to touch the audience and jury and share his passion for these pieces through his performance; the medal would be an added bonus!
Being selected as a semi-finalist in the Ima Hogg Competition, is very similar to being a top NFL draft pick. Andrew will be playing in the semi-finals TODAY at 3:00 PM in Rice University’s Stude Hall. The semi-finals are free and open to the public. Root for Andrew and find out if he makes it to the Ima Hogg Finals – a musical superbowl, so to speak – and thus has the opportunity of a lifetime to play a complete concerto with the Houston Symphony in the Finals on June 2nd at 7:00 PM. More information about this world class competition can be found HERE.
Stay tuned to learn who the final four will be this evening! We will announce the winners through Facebook and Twitter! And get your tickets for the Finals competition on Saturday June 2 HERE to find out who the winner will be!