Eleven Year Old Bethel Middle School Student Gia Antolini Wins Chopin Piano Competition

Eleven Year Old Bethel Middle School Student Gia Antolini Wins Chopin Piano Competition 

Piano Whiz Gia Antolini. Photo by Paula Antolini

For immediate release:

March 11, 2012

BETHEL, CT– Bethel resident Gia Antolini, age 11, won the Bethel Middle School Chopin Piano Competition held on March 8, 2012 at Bethel High School.  Students from 6th, 7th and 8th grades were allowed to compete and most had formal piano lessons for years, although not a requirement for entry. Students were given the same mandatory Chopin piece to learn in only a few months and they were also able to choose a second selection of classical music of their own to perform for the competition. Gia performed “Chopin Prelude Op 28 No. 20” by Frederic Chopin, and also “Sonatina in C Major” by Muzio Clementi.

Gia has studied classical piano for the last seven years at the Suzuki Talent Education School in Newtown, CT, under instructors Mr. Paul Malyszka and Ms. Helen Malyszka.  Gia is also in the Middle school 6th grade orchestra and performs on violin. She started playing violin in fourth and fifth grade, instructed by Dr. Linda Ciacchi, at the Bethel R.M.T Johnson School. Gia continues her third year of violin studies at the Bethel Middle school instructed by Mr. Richard Baumer. Gia was also chosen to perform classical pieces on piano in the 5th and 6th grade Variety Shows in 2011 and 2012.

This is the third year the Chopin Piano Competition has taken place, and was started as a 200th year celebration and part of a tribute to composer Frederic Chopin’s 1810 birth.  The idea of this competition originated from Dr. Kevin Smith, former principal of Bethel Middle School, now newly appointed Superintendent of Bethel Public Schools, and “Music Connections” teacher Mr. Thomas Rombilus, who also organized and ran the event all three years.

Gia will perform the same two Chopin and Clementi pieces for the Bethel Middle School faculty on April 4, 2012, a special performance offered to winners only. Also, along with her violin performance, Gia will perform a solo piano accompaniment on June 7, 2012, during the Bethel Middle School orchestra performance of “Jasmine Flower” by Douglas E. Wagner.

Suzuki music instructors:

Mr. Paul Malyszka
In 2002, Mr. Paul Malyszka joined the staff of the Suzuki Talent Education School in Newtown, CT as a certified Suzuki piano teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Paul began the Suzuki method at age three, studying piano with Jeanne Luedke for fifteen years. He received his B.A. in Music from Manhattanville College and his Masters Degree in Piano Accompaniment from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford.  Paul is the music director and organist at the King Street United Church of Christ in Danbury, CT. Paul is also the full time accompanist for the music department of the Wooster School of Danbury.
Ms. Helen Malyszka:
Ms. Helen Malyszka, who teaches the Baby classes, Pre Suzuki classes and Theory classes, became involved with STES in 1983 with her son Paul, who was three years old at the time. In 1985 Helen received Suzuki training from Jeanne Luedke and began teaching Pre-Suzuki classes. Helen is also the music teacher for St Rose Pre-School, Newtown Congregational Nursery Co-op and the Wesley Learning Center. In 1975, Helen graduated from Stevenson College in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. In addition to her teaching, she has performed in the vocal harmony trio Eclipse throughout Scotland and in the United States for over 30 years with her brother and twin sister.

Ms. Jeanne Luedke:
Ms. Jeanne Luedke founded the Suzuki Talent Education School in 1977 and has been a teacher and trainer for forty years and retired from teaching in 1999 to focus entirely on parent education. After earning a Master’s degree in music and a career in piano performance, Jeanne Luedke studied the Suzuki Method of talent education both here and at Dr. Suzuki’s school in Matsumoto, Japan.

She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Suzuki Association of America and past editor of the piano column for the Suzuki Journal. Jeanne continued to train teachers and parents in her widely acclaimed Parent Education Seminars from 1987-2007. For the past ten years Jeanne has written a parent education newsletter for Suzuki parents and teachers. She continues writing practical advice with her Studio Series newsletter which teachers can purchase and reproduce for their families. In addition, she has written a book entitled Teachers Guide to Parent Education. This guide contains the important information that Jeanne has shared in her newsletters and teacher seminars over the past twenty years.


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Posted on March 13, 2012, in Home. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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