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Interview with Liu Hao: Perseverance and Determination

By CAPA-JRC reporter Doris Wang

On October 13th, 2023, the Gold Lantern Awards were held at the Kennedy Center, honoring notable Chinese Americans. Among those honored included Chinese pianist Liu Hao. Hao was born prematurely in 2001 and lost his sight after excessive oxygen treatment at birth. However, his mother has dedicated herself to helping her son learn the piano after Hao displayed his talent at a young age.

Liu Hao’s Piano Performance at the Gold Lantern Awards (Photo credits: Qiang Wang)

“At the start, there were few pieces of sheet music for blind pianists,” Hao said, “My mother would translate music for me. She was very hard working.” Hao started playing piano at seven, and practiced often in China. He immigrated last year to the United States. “After coming here, I found that resources are abundant, and I can mostly self-study,” Hao said. “I can download sheet music online and learn by myself.”

Hao appreciates the feelings that playing piano brings. “I feel happy and relaxed when I play,” Hao said. “I really love music and hope others enjoy piano as well, as it is a very good way to relieve stress.” At just 22, Hao has already performed together with esteemed pianist Lang Lang, won numerous prestigious piano competitions, and starred in the movie "A Piano-Playing Blind Boy,” portraying himself.

At the Gold Lantern Awards award ceremony, Liu Hao was part of the program, playing a stirring piece alongside Wushu, dance, and chorus performances as many ambassadors, politicians, and celebrities watched.  Hao explained that he loves piano and hopes those who enjoy it as well will persevere. “You just need to believe in yourself, and persevere,” Hao said. “Practicing a lot is how you get better.”

This article was provided by the Chinese American Parents Association Junior Reporter Club (CAPA JRC) with members who interviewed, audio recorded, wrote, translated, and video recorded. CAPA JRC has 25 Montgomery County middle to high school students. They have created a bilingual platform delivering news and serving the community.

Instagram: @capa_jrc

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