2015 Bellaire HS grad to play piano with Houston Symphony

A 2015 Bellaire High School graduate will be playing the piano with the Houston Symphony before she begins the next chapter of her education.

Esther Liao was awarded the opportunity to play with the Symphony as part of becoming the gold medalist in the 2015 Ima Hogg Competition. She’ll take the stage at Jones Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, and perform a selection of Tchaikovsky and Dvoràk pieces.

Liao has been playing the piano since she was four years old.

“There isn’t a moment when I don’t remember seeing a piano sitting around at home,” she told the Houston Symphony. “I always wanted to be able to play piano like the pianists did on the CDs that my parents played for me to listen to from an early age.”

This won’t be Liao’s first time playing with the Symphony – that came when she was just nine years old and the youngest silver medalist in the Houston Symphony League Youth Competition. Since then, she’s won multiple national and international competitions, played at Carnegie Hall and been named a Texas Young Master. She’s also been featured on National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” and on KUHA, Houston’s classical radio station.

“I’ve been blessed to grow up in such a diverse environment filled with all sorts of opportunities,” said Liao, a native Houstonian. “Growing up with immigrant parents, I experienced a mix of American and Chinese culture, and I feel like my upbringing has shaped my values as well as my outlook on life.”

Liao will soon be leaving Houston. She plans to attend Princeton University.

If you’d like to see Liao perform on July 11, tickets are available on the Houston Symphony’s website for $1-$10.