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Hernandez wins state-wide piano competition

Isaac Hernandez, graduate student in music performance, practices the piano inside McCray Hall on Nov. 9. Hernandez recently won a piano competition while representing Pittsburg State University. Dominic Santiago

Isaac Hernandez, graduate student in piano performance, has won a first-place award in a piano competition on November 3, held by the Kansas Music Teachers Association (KMTA). 

Hernandez is from Mexico City, Mexico. He began his music career at 6 years old, starting in piano lessons from his father.

This competition is for students at the graduate level, with competitors seeking master’s and doctoral degrees in piano. Many of these competitors were from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. The competition took place online and Isaac had to send two videos to this competition. The prize includes a certificate, a medal, and one-hundred dollars.

“My biggest challenge is to bring the composers feelings to the audience, so they can get a taste of the feelings that the composer felt,” Hernandez said. “Because many people who play the piano can play fantastic notes and at a very high speed, but to have to express something and share any specific idea is the hardest part. Another challenge is the repertoire itself, and to work hard on the music that you are given.”

Hernandez attended Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, where he performed in various concerts through the universities accomplished music program. It took Isaac 3-4 years to get into the university program, with 2 audition videos leading to his success: 1 video displaying his proficiency in rhythm, and the other in performance and playing the piano itself.

Hernandez hopes to possibly play in a winner’s concert in February. Hernandez also said that he played some pieces from the composer Ginastera, an Argentinian composer of classical music, for the competition. 

Of all the musical styles that Isaac has played, his favorite is music of the Romantic period. 

“I have been trying to learn more contemporary styles, but my favorite style is the Romantic era, like Chopin and Brahms,” Hernandez said.

Interested listeners can find Hernandez’s YouTube channel under “Isaac Hernandez Pianist” or stream his music on Spotify under Isaac Hernandez. Some of his Spotify albums include “Jazz A La Francaise”, which is a French take on jazz music by Claude Bolling. His other album on Spotify is called “Navidad en Casa” or “Christmas at Home”, which is perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

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