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Young Fort Lee Classical Pianist Readies For Sunday Library Concert

Leena Zhu, 10, has been playing the piano since she was 4. Photo Credit: Huaying Li
Zhu will perform classical piano at the Fort Lee Public Library on Sunday, Jan. 17. Photo Credit: Fort Lee Library website
Leena Zhu, 10, left, and her brother, Steven Zhu. Photo Credit: Huaying Li

FORT LEE, N.J. — At just 10 years old, Fort Lee pianist Leena Zhu has already performed in Carnegie Hall, Kaufman Music Center and placed in national competitions.

She will perform a 17-piece classical piano set at the Fort Lee Public Library from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday — with no breaks.

Zhu often gets nervous before her performances, but trusts that her 14 or more hours of practice a week has prepared her well, she said.

“Some pieces you get to play really fast, and that’s really fun,” said Zhu, a 5th grade student at the Stillman School in Tenafly.

Zhu has bee playing piano since she was 4 years old, and has mastered classical and romantic pieces by composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and more.

She won the first place prize at the Little Mozart Piano Competition in June 2015, and the third place prize in the 2015-16 VIVO International Music Competition in December 2015.

But Zhu — who also plays violin in her school’s orchestra and sings in the chorus — is striving to become even better.

“I want to get first place in the VIVO competition,” said Zhu, who takes lessons with Eleonora Shneyder.

The “Harry Potter” series enthusiast is looking forward to playing “The Flight of the Bumble Bee” by Rimsky Korsokav at Sunday’s concert.

“We’re very proud of her,” said Zhu’s mom, Huaying Li. “And we just want her to have fun with music.”

Sunday's concert will begin at 2 p.m. in the Fort Lee Library's meeting room.

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