Young students get lesson from master pianist

SNOHOMISH — Thirteen-year-old Nathaniel Cutshall sat in the Snohomish High School Performing Arts Center auditorium, waiting for his music lesson.

He was nervous, but not because he was about to play for about 50 people. The Snohomish eighth-grader has played for bigger audiences with more at stake.

He was nervous because he was about to be instructed by Macedonian virtuoso pianist Simon Trpceski.

“It’s an honor to meet this guy,” said Nathaniel, who is homeschooled.

He was one of five students selected by the Snohomish County Music Teachers Association to receive a lesson from the internationally renowned pianist. The other four students were Luke Selbeck, 18, a Kamiak High School senior; Carrie Beede, 17, a junior who is homeschooled in Snohomish; Jeanette Ojala , 17, a Glacier Peak High School senior; and Aaron Adams, 18, a Marysville Getchell High School senior.

The students each submitted an audition tape to be selected, and all advanced, association vice president Chelsea Bloomberg said.

Trpceski stood at the edge of the stage to hear Nathaniel play a Schubert piece. At the end, Trpceski praised his performance, but said there were areas where Nathaniel could improve.

Trpceski made Nathaniel practice his tone and tempo for about an hour. He also recommended Nathaniel practice more with his left hand, and sing more to understand the music and be more natural.

“Show me you are into it, not just playing the notes,” Trpceski told him.

Jeanette waited for her turn to perform Chopin’s Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39.

She wanted to know Trpceski’s interpretation of her favorite piece.

“He’s a pianist I really admire,” Jeanette said before her performance. “His music is very gorgeous to hear.”

To be ready for her lesson, Jeanette had put in extra practice.

“I skipped school to practice Thursday,” she said.

Trpceski has performed all over the world with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He performed in Seattle on Thursday and is scheduled for another concert today.

Bloomberg and some of her students had met Trpceski at a concert in Seattle three years ago. She was impressed by how he talked with them. She thought Trpceski would be a good inspiration for students and music teachers, so she asked in March if he was willing to teach a class in Snohomish County.

He agreed. Bloomberg just had to work with his manager to fit it in with his Seattle schedule.

Trpceski has given classes before in England, China and New Zealand, Bloomberg said. He’s being paid for the lessons through a trust fund set up through the music teachers association, she said.

Trpceski said one of the reasons he gave the lessons was that meeting young musicians is important to him.

“That’s the circle of life and a younger generation is always needed,” he said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422;

More in Local News

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Agency didn’t expect such big demand for needle clean-up kits

The Snohomish Health District ran out of supplies quickly, but more are arriving daily.

EvCC teachers take their contract concerns to the board

Their union says negotiations have been disappointingly slow. The community college isn’t commenting.

Here’s what to do if you want to vote and aren’t registered

Oct. 30 is the deadline for new-voter registration in time for the November election.

Two teens struck by truck in Lynnwood

The teens, between the ages of 14 and 16, were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Luring attempt reported in Mountlake Terrace

The driver allegedly instructed a boy to get in the truck and help grab a scooter he was giving away.

Injured hiker rescued near Granite Falls

Woman fell and hit her head on a rock Saturday, and her condition worsened overnight.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Most Read